With a population of 45, the New Zealand fairy tern is at the brink of oblivion.

Climate change may nudge it over.

Our rarest breeding bird is clinging to what's left of its habitat in four breeding sites, at the bottom of the Northland Peninsula.

The delicate shorebird's precarious existence amid the shelter of sand dunes and estuaries has been made tougher by constant encroachment of development, and the nuisance of humans and our vehicles.


Their nests were already well at risk of being blasted away by high winds, or wiped out by king tides.

The last few seasons had