A recently posted account to the Southern Seabirds Solutions Trust gives details of an expedition to New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic Snares Islands to count breeding Buller’s Albatrosses Thalassarche bulleri (click here).
“The census is undertaken by using maps of previous surveys and counting off each nest with an egg in it (or sitting bird). In the forest this is hard work but relatively easy compared to the cliffs which comprise nearly the entire coastline; here binoculars are used and counts all written down and cross referenced statistically later.”
A Buller's Albatross at The Snares, photograph by Paul Sagar
“The 2014 census resulted in around 8,000 pairs of Southern Buller’s being counted - remarkably similar to the 2002 count and around double the number reported breeding in 1969.” This is the first complete census of the species at The Snares since 2002.
Four birds banded on The Snares in 1972 were resighted, 42 years ago, on the trip. Click here to read of other old albatrosses at The Snares – and elsewhere in New Zealand.
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 08 August 2014