Our species projects

Rako / Buller's shearwater 

The first quantified population estimate for Buller’s shearwater was based on burrow counts and state of occupancy during surveys conducted at the Poor Knights in the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons. Information on habitat availability and preference were incorporated in the population models.  Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

How adaptable are seabirds?

There is a need to better understand the foraging distribution and behaviours and diet of several species during breeding and assess how any variability in foraging distribution and effort affects breeding success. Foraging plasticity by seabirds may buffer any potential impacts from changing prey distributions, not only through fisheries impacts but also climate change. As seabirds are long-lived and many are slow to mature, they may struggle to adapt to rapidly changing environmental conditions compared to species with shorter generation times. Also, burrow nesters (e.g., petrels, shearwaters, prions, little penguins) are extremely faithful to their colonies (natal site fidelity), which with prey-shifting could make the distances travelled to find food longer and unstainable. Whereas surface nesters (e.g., gannets, gulls, terns) are better able to up-stakes and set up nesting closer to their feeding grounds. The following examples look at how seabirds are coping with these changes.  Read more