G.C. Wood and Helen Otley (West Coast Tai Poutini Conservancy, Hokitika, New Zealand), writing in the New Zealand Journal of Zoology, report on the population size of the ACAP-listed Westland Petrel Procellaria westlandica, a New Zealand endemic species.
The paper’s abstract follows:
“The Westland petrel (Procellaria westlandica) is an endemic New Zealand species and one of the very few burrowing seabird species still breeding on mainland New Zealand. It nests only on a series of coastal ridgelines near to Punakaiki on the West Coast of the South Island. Between 2002 and 2005, surveys were undertaken at 28 of the 29 known colonies. The area occupied by the colonies was 73 ha; most colonies had fewer than 50 burrows, but six colonies had 201-500 burrows and four colonies had more than 1000 burrows. We find that the current breeding range of Westland petrel and the location of individual colonies are similar to those reported in both the 1950s and 1970s. Based on total burrow counts at 28 colonies and burrow occupancy rates determined by annual monitoring, the annual breeding population is estimated to be between 2954 and 5137 breeding pairs.”
Westland Petrel at sea. Photograph by Barry Baker
Wood, G.C. & Otley, H.M. 2012. An assessment of the breeding range, colony sizes and population of the Westland petrel (Procellaria westlandica). New Zealand Journal of Zoology DOI:10.1080/03014223.2012.736394.
For a related paper click here.
With thanks to Matt Rayner, ACAP Australasian News Correspondent, for information.
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 15 January 2013