The black-backed gull is one of only two native bird species not given any level of protection under the Wildlife Act. That’s because it is a very aggressive hunter, pirate, and scavenger that predates on braided river birds like black-fronted tern/tarapirohe, black-billed gull/tarāpuka, wrybill/ngutu pare, and banded dotterel/tūturiwhatu.
Black-backed gulls form large colonies, and are opportunistic feeders. As well as river birds, they take a wide variety of foods including offal, refuse, marine invertebrates, shellfish, fish, frogs, lizards, small fruit and other plant material.
The number of black-billed gulls in the project area is artificially high because so many agricultural food sources are available.
Photo : Department of Conservation trail cam