Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, Polynesian Rats and feral goats on a tropical island

Jeremy Bird (BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK) and colleagues write in The South Pacific Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences on the numbers of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters Puffinus pacificus on a Fijian island preparatory to alien mammal eradications.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“A brief visit to Monuriki, an island in Fiji’s Mamanuca group was completed in March-April 2011 to gather baseline data on the island’s population of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters Puffinus pacificus prior to the eradication of alien invasive Polynesian Rat Rattus exulans and feral goats Capra hircus from the island in December 2011.  We estimated an island-wide population of 2,000-5,500 pairs of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, the largest population recorded in Fiji.  Productivity was estimated to be 40%.  It is anticipated these baseline figures will be used to assess the impacts that the removal of invasive mammals has on the population.”

Wedge-tailed Shearwater, photographed by Alan Burger

Reference:

Bird, J.P., Risalto S., Seniloli, E. & Tuamoto, T. 2013.   A pre-eradication survey of Wedge-tailed Shearwater Puffinus pacificus on Monuriki, Mamanuca Group, Fiji.  The South Pacific Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences 31: 45-50.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 08 January 2014

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