Stewart Island - P1 nest search results
Tuesday 13th November, 2007The first phase of field work for the fifth and final season of the Trust's Stewart Island project was completed by early November, with searches for nests on the Bravo group, Codfish Island and the Anglem coast of Stewart Island carried out by Trust staff, DOC staff, and volunteers.
Only 13 nests were found along the Anglem coast, a decrease from 20 nests found along the same stretch of coastline last season. There was evidence at some sites that 'extra' birds were around, and it is possible that a nest or two were missed on the initial search, but we can expect to pick these up over the next few weeks. We've managed to miss one or two nests during the initial search each year, but not as many as seven, so it does seem that breeding numbers are down this season.
There was a small decrease in nest numbers on the Bravo group; 17 nests this season where there were 20 last season. Once again there was evidence of 'extra' birds about, so this decrease in nest numbers found may not necessarily indicate a decline in numbers.
36 nests were located in Sealers Bay on Codfish Island. This is a few more than we have found to monitor in the past, but not because of an increase in numbers. In past seasons nest searchers have kept looking until they found a sample of 25 to 30 conveniently located nests, whereas this year we had more time and did our best to find the majority of nests. Even so, it is likely that there are still more, as searchers ran out of time to thoroughly search the last remaining site.
The monitoring phase of the field work, which begins mid-November, is expected to continue until chicks fledge in late February or early March 2008.