Fitting name for famous albatross chick

The royal cam albatross chick at Pukekura/Taiaroa Head has been named “Moana”.

 Announcing the winning name, the Department of Conservation’s threatened species ambassador Nicola Toki said Moana is the Māori name for ocean, sea, wide expanse of water. He manu o te moana means a bird of the sea.

 “Northern royal albatross/toroa spend most of their lives at sea, covering vast areas of the ocean in search of food and returning to land only to breed and raise their young, so this Māori name represents this type of bird very well,” Nicola said.

 Room 7 from Tainui School in Dunedin sent the winning entry. The class wins a trip to the Albatross Centre. There were 13 entries for ‘Moana’ and DOC staff picked one entry to win the trip.

 DOC received 2437 entries for the chick naming competition from all over the world. There were 1225 votes for the name. The names had to reflect the characteristics of the species or their habitat on Otago Peninsula and their importance as a taonga (treasure) species.

 DOC rangers have also confirmed the chick is a female.