Wildlife Management International Ltd.

Blenheim, New Zealand

Wildlife Management International Ltd.

Blenheim, New Zealand
SEARCH FILTERS
Time filter
Source Type

Zhang J.,University of Auckland | Dennis T.E.,University of Auckland | Landers T.J.,Environmental Research & Evaluation | Bell E.,Wildlife Management International Ltd. | Perry G.L.W.,University of Auckland
Ecological Modelling | Year: 2017

Individual-based models (IBMs) are increasingly used to explore ecological systems and, in particular, the emergent outcomes of individual-level processes. A major challenge in developing IBMs to investigate the movement ecology of animals is that such models must represent and parameterise unobserved behaviours occurring at multiple hierarchical levels. Approaches based on approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) methods have been used to support the parameterisation, calibration and evaluation of IBMs. However, a key component of the ABC approach is the use of multiple quantitative patterns derived from empirical data to exclude model structures and parameterisations that generate atypical or implausible patterns. We propose a modelling framework that integrates information derived from statistical inferential models, which are now widely used to describe the behaviour of moving animals, with ABC methodologies for the parameterisation and analysis of IBMs. To demonstrate its application, we apply this framework to high-resolution movement trajectories of the foraging trips of black petrels (Procellaria parkinsoni), an endangered seabird endemic to New Zealand. The outcomes of our study show that the use of inferential statistical models to summarise movement data can aid model selection and parameterisation procedures via ABC, and yield valuable insights into the modelling in movement ecology of animals. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Mischler C.P.,Wildlife Management International Ltd | Bell E.A.,Wildlife Management International Ltd
Notornis | Year: 2017

Seabird bycatch data collected between 1996 and 2016 in commercial fisheries within the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) were analysed to determine if male and female grey petrels (Procellaria cinerea) have different at-sea foraging distributions during the breeding season. Data collection includes the return of bycaught (killed) seabirds from commercial fishing vessels by government fisheries observers. A total of 408 bycaught breeding grey petrels with known sex (214 males, 194 females) were analysed for a locational and seasonal sex bias. Data were also examined to determine whether where carcasses were returned from sea, there were different proportions of males and females captured by different fishing methods: offshore bottom longlining, surface longlining, and offshore trawling. There was no significant difference in the totals of male and female grey petrels returned from fishing operations, but capture locations for the sexes varied widely. More males than females were caught in April, May, August, and September. July showed a reverse trend, while June was the only month with no difference in captures between sexes. More males than females were caught in offshore bottom longliners and trawlers, with the opposite for surface longliners. This study emphasises the importance of a large-scale approach to capture locations and season when analysing impacts of fisheries on seabird populations, and highlights different foraging areas according to sex during the breeding season. Spatial segregation has important management implications as changes in fisheries practice in foraging areas may affect the sex ratio of the grey petrel population. © The Ornithological Society of New Zealand Inc.


The black petrel (Procellaria parkinsoni) is recognised as the seabird species at greatest risk from commercial fishing activity within New Zealand fisheries waters. Despite the fact that valuable mitigation information could be obtained from such data, litle is known about the diving ability of this species. Diving data were obtained from electronic time-depth recorders from 22 black petrels breeding on Great Barrier Island (Aotea), Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand, during the early chick rearing period from January-February in both 2013 and 2014. This paper presents the first information on the diving ability of black petrels. The deepest dive recorded was 34.3 m, but maximum dive depths varied considerably among individuals (range 0.8-34.3 m). The majority (86.8%) of all dives were < 5 m and black petrels rarely dived to depths of >10 m. The majority (92.7%) of dives were during the day and time of day had no major effect on dive depth. Only males dived at night, between 2300 and 0200 hours. This information could be used to improve mitigation measures for black petrel and other seabird bycatch in longline fisheries particularly in relation to recommended depths for unprotected hooks and line sink rates. To achieve the recommended minimum 10 m depth for unprotected hooks it has been shown that hooks have to be deployed at 6 knots with a 0.3 m/second line sink rate when using 100 m streamer lines. Adoption of these measures should further reduce black petrel bycatch in longline fisheries. © The Ornithological Society of New Zealand Inc.


Freeman R.,Microsoft | Freeman R.,University of Oxford | Dennis T.,University of Auckland | Landers T.,University of Auckland | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: Determining the foraging movements of pelagic seabirds is fundamental for their conservation. However, the vulnerability and elusive lifestyles of these animals have made them notoriously difficult to study. Recent developments in satellite telemetry have enabled tracking of smaller seabirds during foraging excursions. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here, we report the first successful precision tracking of a c. 700 g seabird, the vulnerable Black Petrel, Procellaria parkinsoni, foraging at sea during the breeding season, using miniature GPS-logging technology. Employing a combination of high-resolution fixes and low-power duty-cycles, we present data from nine individual foraging excursions tracked during the chick-rearing period in February 2006. Conclusions/Significance: We provide a snapshot of the species' foraging range and behaviour in relation to detailed underlying bathymetry off the coast of New Zealand, finding a significant relationship between foraging movements and regions of the shelf-break. We also highlight the potential of more sophisticated analyses to identify behavioural phenomena from position data alone. © 2010 Freeman et al.


Miskelly C.M.,Museum of New Zealand | Scofield R.P.,Canterbury Museum | Sagar P.M.,NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research | Tennyson A.J.D.,Museum of New Zealand | And 2 more authors.
Notornis | Year: 2011

We report Records Appraisal Committee (RAC) decisions regarding Unusual Bird Reports received between 1 Aug 2008 and 31 Dec 2010. Among the 58 submissions accepted by the RAC are the 1st New Zealand records of streaked shearwater (Calonectris leucomelas) and straw-necked ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis), 2nd records of great shearwater (Puffinus gravis), semipalmated plover (Charadrius semipalmatus) and Franklin's gull (Larus pipixcan), and 3rd records of little stint (Calidris minuta) and black kite (Milvus migrans). Other notable records included the 1st oriental cuckoo (Cuculus optatus) from the Kermadec Islands, a New Zealand dabchick (Poliocephalus rufopectus) near Nelson, and 2 records of Stewart Island shag (Leucocarbo chalconotus) near Lake Ellesmere, Canterbury. © The Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Inc.


Bell E.A.,Wildlife Management International Ltd. | Bell B.D.,35 Selmes Road
New Zealand Journal of Ecology | Year: 2016

Big South Cape Island (Taukihepa) is a 1040 ha island, 1.5 km from the southwest coast of Stewart Island/Rakiura, New Zealand. This island was rat-free until the incursion of ship rats (Rattus rattus) in, or shortly before, 1963, suspected to have been accidentally introduced via local fishing boats that moored at the island with ropes to the shore, and were used to transport the mutton birders to the island. This incursion was reported by the muttonbirders – local Iwi who harvest the young of titi (sooty shearwater, Puffinus griseus) – to the then New Zealand Wildlife Service (via the New Zealand Department of Lands and Survey). Investigation into the reports found ship rats had reached the island and had decimated the local land bird populations. Brian Bell and Don Merton attempted some of the first translocations of South Island saddleback (Philesturnus c. carunculatus), Stewart Island snipe (Coenocorypha aucklandica iredalei) and Stead’s bush wren (Xenicus longipes variabilis) with only the saddleback being successful. Extinctions of the snipe, wren and greater short-tailed bat (Mystacina robusta) were recorded. This was the first time rats were definitively recognised as the cause of extinction of native land birds and directed further debate into the impacts of rats and how to deal with them. © New Zealand Ecological Society.


Bell M.,Wildlife Management International Ltd
Notornis | Year: 2012

The Marlborough Sounds has a coastline of 1500 km and hosts the greatest diversity of marine shag species in New Zealand. A survey of all breeding shag species was conducted in spring 2006. Apart from New Zealand king shag, 3 species were counted: spoted shag (Strictocarbo punctatus), pied shag (Phalacrocorax varius) and litle shag (Phalacrocorax melanoleucos). Two other species (black shag Phalacrocorax carbo and litle black shag Phalacrocorax sulcirostris) also occur in the area but were not recorded breeding. A total of 1,254 pairs of spoted shag were recorded at 193 sites, with most colonies occurring in the outer Sounds and inner Queen Charlote Sound. Average colony size was 6.5 pairs (range 1-76 pairs), with 85% of colonies containing ≤10 pairs. The distribution of spoted shag colonies appears to be infuenced by the availability of suitable clif habitat. Breeding pied shags were found at 48 colonies, with a total of 438 pairs. Colonies were widely distributed, and average colony size was 9.1 pairs (range 1-28), with 83% containing ≤15 pairs. A total of 226 litle shag pairs were found at 24 colonies, with most colonies also including nesting pied shags. Colony size was on average 9.4 pairs (range 4-24), with 75% of colonies containing ≤10 pairs. Colonies of pied shags and litle shags were found mostly in native vegetation. Colonial seabirds that occur at relatively few locations can be used as indicators to establish critical thresholds for marine management and marine conservation. It is proposed that this survey provide a good baseline for such an approach in the Marlborough Sounds. © The Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Inc.


A survey of the entire 1500 km coastline of the Marlborough Sounds between Sep - Dec 2006 located 9 king shag (Leucocarbo carunculatus) breeding colonies, including 2 new colonies. The total population was estimated at 687 birds, a figure similar to the 10-year average estimated for the period 1992-2002. The 4 largest colonies supported 85% of all birds recorded. The total population appears stable compared to earlier surveys, but there was a tendency for some of the smaller breeding colonies to be occupied only temporarily. © The Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Inc.


Bell M.,Wildlife Management International Ltd
Notornis | Year: 2010

A total of 730 variable oystercatchers (Haematopus unicolor) were recorded during a survey of the entire 1,500 km coastline of the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand in spring 2006. This included 347 breeding pairs, 28 single birds and a non-breeding flock of 8 birds. The distribution of oystercatchers was influenced by habitat and human development, with fewer birds found in the inner sounds, where there is most development, and in the exposed outer coastline, where cliff or boulder habitat is limiting. Using similar methods of coastal surveys during the breeding season, the estimated national population of oystercatchers has increased from 2000 birds in 1970-71 to 7000 birds in 2006. This represents a population growth rate of 3.5% per annum. Winter flock counts give lower population estimates and coastal surveys are recommended for future monitoring of this species. © The Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Inc.


Bell M.,Wildlife Management International Ltd
Notornis | Year: 2010

A total of 57 reef herons (Ardea sacra) were counted during a survey of the entire 1,500 km coastline of the Marlborough Sounds in spring 2006. Most birds were encountered in the outer part of the sounds rather than the more developed inner sounds. The total New Zealand population is estimated at 300-500 birds. Both the Marlborough Sounds and national population appears to have been stable for the past 40 years. With a small but stable population the reef heron's threat classification in New Zealand should be changed from Nationally Vulnerable to Naturally Uncommon. The species is secure overseas with New Zealand being the southernmost limit for the species. © The Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Inc.

Loading Wildlife Management International Ltd. collaborators
Loading Wildlife Management International Ltd. collaborators