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Dunedin, New Zealand

Deguchi T.,Yamashina Institute for Ornithology | Jacobs J.,Yamashina Institute for Ornithology | Harada T.,Yamashina Institute for Ornithology | Perriman L.,Yamashina Institute for Ornithology | And 5 more authors.
Bird Conservation International | Year: 2012

Many breeding colonies of Procellariiformes have been threatened with extinction. Chick translocation has been shown to be an effective method for establishing new "safer" colonies of burrow-nesting species, but techniques for surface-nesting species have not been fully developed. The entire breeding population of the threatened Short-tailed Albatross Phoebastoria albatrus is restricted to two sites, Torishima Island and the Senkaku Islands, and neither site is secure due to volcanic activity or political instability. The Short-tailed Albatross Recovery Team has recommended facilitating the recovery of this species by establishing at least one additional colony through the translocation and hand-rearing of chicks at a safe historical breeding site. To evaluate the feasibility of this approach, we hand-reared 10 post-guard phase chicks of two related species in 2006-2007: Laysan Albatross P. immutabilis translocated from Midway Atoll to Kaua'i Island, Hawai'i and Black-footed Albatross P. nigripes translocated from a nearby islet in the Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands to Mukojima Island, Japan. In these pilot studies, 40% of Laysan Albatross chicks and 90% of Black-footed Albatross chicks fledged successfully. Following this groundwork, 40 post-guard phase Short-tailed Albatross chicks were translocated from Torishima Island to Mukojima Island in February 2008-2010 and hand-reared to fledging. Their fledging success has been 100% in all three years. Fledging body sizes were similar or greater in hand-reared chicks at the release site than parent-reared chicks on Torishima Island. There were significant differences in levels of some blood chemistry parameters between pre-fledging hand-reared and parent-reared chicks. The techniques developed in our studies have broad-reaching implications for the future conservation of threatened populations of other surface-nesting seabirds. © Copyright BirdLife International 2011.


Allibone R.,Golder Associates | David B.,Environment Waikato | Hitchmough R.,Science and Research and Development Group Division | Jellyman D.,NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research | And 3 more authors.
New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research | Year: 2010

The threat status of 74 freshwater and estuarine fish present in New Zealand was determined. Fifty-one native taxa were ranked of which 67% were considered Threatened or At Risk. A single species was classified as Extinct, the New Zealand grayling, which has not been observed since the 1920s. Four taxa were classified in the highest threat category, Nationally Critical, and a further 10 taxa as Threatened (Nationally Endangered or Nationally Vulnerable). Twenty taxa were ranked in the At Risk group with the majority ranked as Declining. Endemic galaxiids (Galaxiidae) dominated the Threatened and At Risk taxa. The majority (68%) belonged to the Galaxias genus, comprising 81% of recognised taxa in this genus and all five species in the genus Neochanna were also ranked as Threatened or At Risk. In addition to 51 native taxa, a further three fish species were considered colonists and 20 introduced species were classified as naturalised, although two of these are considered rare. The majority of the Threatened species occur in the Canterbury and Otago regions where a suite of rare non-migratory galaxiids exist. Threat mechanisms that were identified as causal in the decline of freshwater fish species were the impact of introduced fish species, declining water quality, effects of water abstraction, loss of habitat via land-use change and land-use activities, and river modifications.


Morgan K.J.,Massey University | Alley M.R.,Massey University | Gartrell B.D.,Massey University | Thompson K.G.,Massey University | Perriman L.,Coastal Otago Area Office
New Zealand Veterinary Journal | Year: 2011

CASE HISTORY: In February 2004, two Northern Royal albatross chicks aged 20 and 25 days old were presented for necropsy. Both chicks had been hand-fed in situ at a breeding colony, from 2-3 days post-hatch. The hand-rearing diet consisted of boneless hold fillets (Macraronus novaezelandiae), electrolytes, and sooty shearwater (Puffinus griseus) proventricular oil obtained as a by-product of cultural harvest. PATHOLOGICAL FINDINGS: Routine necropsies on the affected chicks revealed many bones were soft and easily bent. Radiography and histopathology revealed decreased bone density, pathological fractures, and extensive remodelling suggestive of fibrous osteodystrophy. DIAGNOSIS: Nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism, resulting from an imbalance in the dietary Ca:P ratio. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The imbalance in the dietary Ca:P ratio was a result of feeding deboned and eviscerated fish. This investigation also highlighted potential health risks associated with the practice of feeding stored rancid proventricular oil, including the destruction of fat-soluble vitamins. It is therefore possible that oxidative degradation of vitamin D may have contributed to the development of nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism. Subsequently, dietary recommendations for supplementary feeding of orphaned Northern Royal albatross chicks include the feeding of whole human-grade fish with an appropriate Ca:P ratio, and the exclusion of proventricular oil. These cases highlight the need for scientific input into wildlife conservation projects, as lack of appropriate nutritional advice resulted in the feeding of a nutritionally inadequate diet. Following the recommended changes in diet, no further cases of osteodystrophy have been diagnosed in hand-raised chicks in the albatross colony.


Whitmore N.,Coastal Otago Area Office | Judd L.M.,Coastal Otago Area Office | Mules R.D.,Coastal Otago Area Office | Webster T.A.,Coastal Otago Area Office | And 2 more authors.
Conservation Evidence | Year: 2012

The in situ management of the critically endangered grand skink Oligosoma grande currently hinges on the on-going health of a single large sub-population at Macraes Flat, Otago. Given its vulnerability, it was considered desirable to establish additional sub-populations to ensure the long-term survival of the species. A spatial meta-population simulation of grand skinks at Macraes Flat suggested that this could be facilitated by the translocation of grand skinks into areas of predator protected habitat. Areas identified by modeling as suitable translocation sites were ground-truthed by an experienced survey team in 2008. In October 2009 we began a translocation trial. We moved nineteen grand skinks from three locations to the translocation site. The founder population was made up of ten juveniles and nine sexually mature grand skinks. Seasonal estimation of persistence and abundance using a photographic re-sight methodology allowed the short- and medium-term performance of the translocation to be assessed. High initial persistence rates suggested immediate homing was not a factor of concern. After one year, all translocated juveniles had persisted, but only four of the original nine adults remained at the release site. While the loss of adults was to some extent offset by the birth of the young-of-the-year (total skinks start: n = 19, finish: n = 20) there was a moderate loss of ~ 10% in terms of the population's expected reproductive value. Overall, we viewed the outcome as favorable and on that basis undertook a follow up translocation.

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