Mobile Menu Open Mobile Menu Close

Banding through the ages

Michelle Bradshaw1, Graeme Taylor2, Sandy Taylor2

1Department of Conservation, 186 Bridge Street, Nelson, 7010;

2Department of Conservation, 18 Manners Street, Wellington, 6011

The Department of Conservation’s Banding Office curates New Zealand’s national bird banding data spanning 86 years and comprising over 1.5 million records. This long-term dataset enables us to draw insights into banding trends while also highlighting missing records or under-represented taxa. We will compare three different decades of banding and recapture data: the 1960s, 1990s and 2010s. Richer insights can also be drawn from known-age birds – for instance calculating longevity – so we investigate the age structure of birds marked as pulli, juveniles or adults). The value of banding data lies in the proportion of marked birds that are reported (re-sighting and recovery data). From 1960 to 2000 this proportion was over 20% but dropped sharply to 7% after 2000. The new FALCON Bird Banding Database is an accessible online repository of all national banding data that enables banders to upload, view and export data while retaining control over data sharing. This system has already facilitated increased reporting of re-sighting and recapture data to 18% of marked birds in the past decade. We hope that continued engagement will facilitate coordination between researchers and make the most of this valuable dataset for ages to come.