TarāpungaRed-billed gull

Conservation status
In some trouble

The red-billed gull is here, squawking onto the Bird of the Year stage for the very first time. Dapper, roguishly charming, notorious for their criminal tendencies - red-bills are the John Dillinger or the Captain Jack Sparrow of the New Zealand bird world. They're a familiar sight to a lot of us New Zealanders, but many are unaware of the problems red-billed gulls actually face. It's high time these unfairly maligned seabirds got the love and attention they deserve.

Campaign Manager

Peter Doyle

To many, these sneaky fish-and-chip raiders are seemingly impossible to hide from during a picnic at the beach, but the reality is that red-billed gulls/tarāpunga are in decline. In fact, it is thought that the number of breeding gulls nationwide may have fallen by up to a third since the 1960s.

Our goal is to restore the tarnished name of these unfairly named "rats of the sky", and to show that they're just as deserving of help as other birds! Because it simply wouldn't be a classic Kiwi summer without the Notorious R.B.G.! #notoriousRBG

Red-billed gull for BOTY logo with a gull framed inside a red lifebuoy
Flock of red-billed gulls standing on a wall by the beach

Credit - Wikimedia Commons