Hundreds of dead and starving fairy piron seabirds have washed up around Tasman's shoreline recently.
Main stream media quickly indicated that rising seawater temperatures could be to blame.
Reports from people finding the seabirds indicated they were dead, dehydrated and starving.
Natureland Wildlife Trust, in Nelson said: "It's not the first time historically that there has been such mass dying off of birds.”
"The cause can be things like bad weather, or high heat that has affected the movement of their food sources so they are going hungry." "There are many that have passed away. Some are dehydrated from lack of food, and some that are fit enough to make a full recovery."
La Niña conditions at sea since the spring had increased ocean temperatures, making it harder for birds to find fish.
Dead and starving penguins have also been reported on Auckland's Waiheke Island and North Shore, the Coromandel Peninsula and Kaikōura.
The fairy prion is an abundant petrel of exposed coastal waters around New Zealand, especially from Cook Strait southwards.
It often feeds in large flocks over tide rips near offshore rocks and islands.
"If conditions at sea are unfavourable for them to find food, like the weather fluctuation ... then they will struggle."
There is never just one reason why the birds were not able to cope with a natural event such as a high water temperature birds like a lot of sea mammals really need the team effort of other sealife to survive in the wild.
Dolphins are one species that chase the bait fish and force them into a ball near the surface.
The dolphin has the best hunting equipment of all hunters in the fact that their sonar can find a ball of bait fish from miles away.
The noise that the dolphin makes with clicks and splashing attracts other predictors, seals, tuna, marlin, penguins and sharks to help in the surfacing of the unfortunate bait fish. These balls of fish are what the fairy piron and other seabirds look for and feed on.
All fish species hold a place in the food chain. When a predatory species becomes threatened or extinct, this removes a check and balance in the food chain on the population of prey previously consumed by that predator.
Food chain disruptions from the loss of a single species can be ecosystem-wide.
When crayfish decline, populations of kina, a preferred crayfish food, can explode. The resulting overpopulation of kelp-munching kina, meanwhile, can reduce kelp forests, threatening numerous marine species that rely on this habitat.
In an ecosystem, each organism has its role and purpose. Disturbing the balance of an ecosystem can be disastrous for all the living things relying on it.
When an ecosystem is stable and healthy, we call it Sustainable. This means that it is capable of sustaining itself and reproducing. Sustainable ecosystems have biodiversity. There’s a variety of species and organisms living there and contributing.
Ecosystem destruction is due to ocean acidification, water pollution, overfishing a species and illegal fishing.
If we continue depleting resources and destroying our environment, soon it will be too late for them to recover.
Everything relies on everything else around it. Every aspect of our ecosystem is important – because when one goes, the rest will follow, hence our dying seabirds.
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