Saturday, February 27, 2021

Finding the burrows of Chatham Island Taiko Pterodroma magentae by radio telemetry

TitleFinding the burrows of Chatham Island Taiko Pterodroma magentae by radio telemetry
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsImber, MJ, Crockett, DE, Gordon, AH, Best, HA, Douglas, ME, Cotter, RN
JournalNotornis
Volume41
Issuesup
Pagination69-96
Type of Articlepaper
Abstract

The Chatham Island Taiko (Magenta Petrel) Pterodroma magentae is endangered, with a population of about 50 birds. Conventional searches from 1970 to 1986 failed to find its breeding sites. Trials of radio transmitter packages attached to Grey-faced Petrels P. macroptera gouldi and to six Taiko in 1982-1986 were satisfactory. In a major effort to find burrows, Taiko were caught and radio-tracked over three months in late 1987. Twelve Taiko were caught at night with the aid of lights. Ten birds were each fitted with a transmitter; all flew out to sea after release. Birds were tracked on 16 later occasions. Two tracked birds landed 4-6 km inland in dense bush. On subsequent searches at the bearings at which the signals became stationary, five burrows were found, in two areas, 4 km apart. During a similar operation in 1988 no Taiko were caught. Despite extensive searches, these were still the only breeding areas known in late 1993.

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