First northern giant petrel (Macronectes halli) breeding population survey and estimate for the Auckland Islands, New Zealand
|Title||First northern giant petrel (Macronectes halli) breeding population survey and estimate for the Auckland Islands, New Zealand|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2020|
|Authors||Parker, GC, French, RK, Muller, CG, Taylor, GA, Rexer-Huber, K|
|Type of Article||Full article|
|Keywords||breeding pairs, population estimate, procellariiform, seabird, subantarctic|
This first breeding population estimate of northern giant petrels (Macronectes halli) in the Auckland Islands group involved whole-island censuses, apart from the main Auckland Island, in the 2015-16 breeding season, and multi-year repeat visits to a subset of island colonies. Parallel line-transects in giant petrel habitat were used to survey the number and spatial distribution of pre-fledging chicks. The Auckland Islands 2015-16 whole-island census resulted in a count of 216 northern giant petrel chicks on eight of the 15 islands in the group. Applying a simple correction factor, the breeding population in 2015 is estimated as c. 340 breeding pairs (range 310–390). This estimate is higher than historical non-quantitative records of 50–200 breeding pairs. Multi-year counts on Enderby, Rose, Frenchs, Ocean, Disappointment, and Adams Islands showed some inter-annual variability, but other island colonies remained more stable. The northern giant petrel colony on Enderby Island has increased from two chicks in 1988 to 96–123 chicks in 2015–18 (four annual counts undertaken).