Thursday, January 20, 2022

Shipwrecks and mollymawks: an account of Disappointment Island birds

TitleShipwrecks and mollymawks: an account of Disappointment Island birds
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsWalker, KJ, Elliott, GP, Rexer-Huber, K, Parker, GC, Sagar, PM, McClelland, PJ
Type of ArticleFull article
Keywordsaerial census, Auckland Island rail, Disappointment Island, ground-truth, seabirds, white-capped mollymawk

This paper describes the birds of Disappointment Island, a small pristine island in the subantarctic Auckland Islands archipelago, from an accumulation of observations made by ornithologists during 16 visits to the island during 1907–2019. The island supports large populations of both the Auckland Island rail (Lewinia muelleri) and the Auckland Island teal (Anas aucklandica), most of the global population of the New Zealand endemic white-capped mollymawk (Thalassarche cauta steadi) – an annual average of 63,856 breeding pairs during 2009–17, an estimated 155,500 pairs of the circumpolar white-chinned petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis), and unquantified numbers of smaller petrels. The topography and vegetation communities of the island are described, the history of visits by ornithologists to the island is outlined, and a list of bird species and their breeding status is recorded.

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