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Post-translocation dispersal and home range establishment of roroa (great spotted kiwi, Apteryx haastii): need for long- term monitoring and a flexible management strategy

Notornis, 67 (3), 511-525

R. Toy; S. Toy (2020)

Type of work: Full article

  Between 2010 and 2016, the community group Friends of Flora Inc., in partnership with the Department of Conservation, translocated 44 roroa (Apteryx haastii) to the Flora Stream area in Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand. Each kiwi was fitted with a VHF transmitter and their subsequent locations were monitored for two to eight years by radio-telemetry. Monitoring showed that short to medium term translocation goals relating to survival and home range establishment were met. Dispersal occurred for 9 to 878 days prior to home ranges being established. This post- translocation monitoring was used to inform management decisions to extend predator control from 5,000 to 9,000 ha and to retrieve four of the kiwi that dispersed outside the project area. At the end of the study, 68% of the translocated kiwi were known to have home ranges within the trapped area. The study illustrates the benefit of long-term post- translocation monitoring and a flexible approach to deal with unforeseen dispersal.  

Individual variation in the foraging behaviour of two New Zealand foliage-gleaning birds

Notornis, 67 (3), 526-542

I.G. McLean (2020)

Type of work: Full article

  The foraging behaviour of two foliage gleaning birds, rifleman and grey warbler (henceforth warbler), was studied at Kowhai bush, Kaikoura, with the aims of exploring behavioural variation by individual pairs, and broader patterns of foraging behaviour for each species. Data on six foraging variables were collected from individually identifiable birds of known breeding status at the time of sampling. A total of 1,632 samples were taken during the spring/summer period of 1987/8. Data analysis explored foraging behaviour in relation to species, sex, and breeding stage. Individual pairs of riflemen exhibited significant variation in behaviour, indicating behavioural specialisation that I term a “foraging personality” identified as an emergent characteristic of each pair. Riflemen showed greater within-pair variation than warblers. The similarities and differences in foraging behaviour between the two species are described and are linked to their behavioural ecology. Analyses are presented in relation to the problem of data independence when repeated samples are taken from one individual.  

Breeding petrels of Breaksea and Dusky Sounds, Fiordland; responses to three decades of predator control

Notornis, 67 (3), 543-557

C.M. Miskelly; C.R. Bishop; T.C. Greene; J. Rickett; G.A. Taylor; A.J.D. Tennyson (2020)

Type of work: Full article

  Twenty-four breeding colonies of three petrel species were found on 18 of 26 islands surveyed in Breaksea Sound/Te Puaitaha, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand, in November 2017 and December 2019. All vegetated islands within Breaksea Sound were surveyed, along with 20 islands in Dusky Sound/Tamatea that were not included in an initial survey in November 2016 (eight of these additional Dusky Sound islands had breeding petrels, including three with broad-billed prions Pachyptila vittata). Sooty shearwater (Ardenna grisea) was the most widespread and abundant species in Breaksea Sound, with an estimated 6,950 burrows on 14 islands, while broad-billed prions were breeding on seven islands (2,100 burrows estimated). We record the first evidence of mottled petrels (Pterodroma inexpectata) breeding in Breaksea Sound, which is now their northernmost breeding location. Burrow occupancy rates were not assessed for any of the species. Most of the islands in Breaksea Sound had previously been surveyed during 1974 to 1986, before Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) were eradicated from Hāwea and Breaksea Islands, and stoats (Mustela erminea) controlled to near zero density on Resolution Island and adjacent islands (including the inner Gilbert Islands and Entry Island). Following pest mammal control or eradication, broad-billed prions have colonised at least four additional sites. Sooty shearwaters were found at five sites in Breaksea Sound where they had not been recorded in 1980–83, and at one site they had increased by more than 50-fold since rat eradication. When combined with data from the 2016 and 2017 surveys, more than 75,700 petrel burrows are estimated to be present in southern Fiordland.  

Population estimation of the New Zealand storm petrel (Fregetta maoriana) from mark-recapture techniques at Hauturu/Little Barrier Island and from at-sea resightings of banded birds

Notornis, 67 (3), 503-510

M.J. Rayner; C.P. Gaskin; G.A. Taylor; A.J.D. Tennyson; N.B. Fitzgerald; K.A. Baird; M.R. Friesen; J. Ross; S.M.H. Ismar-Rebitz (2020)

Type of work: Full article

  Between 2014 and 2018 a mark-recapture/ resighting study was conducted to ascertain the size of the population of New Zealand storm petrel (Fregatta maoriana) at their breeding grounds on Hauturu, Little Barrier Island, New Zealand. A total of 415 New Zealand storm petrels were captured and marked with individual colour bands using acoustic playback and night-time spotlighting on Hauturu. Two mark-recapture models were developed using the recaptures of banded birds on land and the at-sea resightings of banded birds attracted to burley on the Hauraki Gulf near Hauturu. The land- based model suggests a current population of 994 (range 446–2,116) individuals whereas the at-sea model suggests an estimate of 1,630 (range 624–3,758) individuals. The discrepancy between these models likely lies in the bias of on-land captures towards juvenile birds constituting >50% of birds caught. We consider the at-sea model most representative of total population size. Logistic population growth models anchored by on-land and at-sea population estimates suggest pre-rat eradication populations of New Zealand storm petrel of 323 and 788 individuals respectively.  

Aberrant and deformed Antarctic penguins and unusual eggs

Notornis, 67 (2), 459-468

S.V. Golubev (2020)

Type of work: Full Article

Nineteen cases of physical deformities, colour aberrations, and unusual eggs were recorded in emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) and Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) from the Haswell archipelago in the Davis Sea, East Antarctica, during 1956–2016. Two very small eggs and one very large egg were recorded from emperor penguins, and two very small eggs from Adélie penguins. Physical deformities included beak deformities in two emperor penguin adults and two chicks, and two chicks had deformed spines. Colour aberrations included the ino mutation in a juvenile emperor penguin, and examples of dilution (two cases), progressive greying (two cases), and isabellinism in adult Adélie penguins. Feather-loss disorders were recorded in two downy emperor penguin chicks. Data on the occurrence of identified abnormalities and disorders are given. These cases provide a baseline for assessing changes in the frequency of physical abnormalities in these Antarctic penguin species.