White-winged tern marked as "introduced" in nearly all NZ checklists

I recently noticed that the white-winged tern is marked as “introduced” in New Zealand in like 20+ checklists (but bizarrely not on the New Zealand checklist itself) with no evidence to suggest that they are introduced. I’ve done a lot of digging and I can’t find anything online that suggests that they are introduced in New Zealand, instead they are considered vagrant. I also find it unusual that anyone would “introduced” a species of tern in the first place, it’s not like people eat them or anything. The only reason I’m not changing it myself is because this seems like a lot of effort, so whoever did it must have had a reason, and so I’m unsure if there’s some hidden knowledge about this that I don’t know about that prove that White-winged terns are “introduced” in NZ??
It’s marked as introduced on the following checklists:

  • Auckland
  • Canterbury
  • Hawke’s Bay
  • Manawatu-Wanganui
  • Nelson
  • Northland
  • Taranaki
  • Waikato
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Franklin
  • Kapiti Coast
  • Napier
  • Nelson, NE
  • Selwyn
  • South Wairarapa
  • Waimakariri
  • Canterbury Region rough outline
  • Canterbury Regional Council
  • Christchurch District
  • Christchurch sandy beach and estuary,
  • East Coast Palmerston to Bluff
  • Greater Christchurch City area
  • Kaitorete Spit
  • Kauri Kingdom
  • Lake Onoke
  • New Zealand Zone
  • North Island
  • South Island
  • Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere
  • Waimakariri River Regional Park
  • Wellington Region Coast
    Do any curators know what this is about?

I’m a curator from NZ. It’s pretty weird- could you please send me a link of the species on one of those checklists? I couldn’t find the species in any of those checklists.
I’ve came across this situation for other species too, but never worked out how to fix it. Wondering if it’s a bug.

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It may be at one point someone marked it as introduced to New Zealand, the status was applied to descendent places, and someone changed it back but not on the descendent places. I believe a curator should be able to apply the native status to descendent places if desirable.


I agree that this seems like a case where “descendants” were checked for invasive, the status was changed for NZ to native, but was not applied to descendants. This type of issue should generally be resolved via taxon flags on iNat, so please create a flag for curation on the taxon there to continue to the conversation. I’ll close the flag here on the forum.