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2016/17 fluttering shearwater breeding season ends

30/04/2017 | Projects | Stories | 0

The 2016/17 fluttering shearwater breeding season has come to a very successful end.  Three chicks were born and all successfully fledged.  This compares to just one chick in 2014/15 and another in 2015/16. 

The male parent in each of the three pairs that fledged chicks in 2016/17 were transferred to Matiu/Somes Island in 2012 as part of our translocation project.  Each male paired up with an existing adult female, including two from a similar translocation project that occurred on Mana Island between 2006 and 2008.  These females had been waiting for males to arrive as the gender balance prior to the translocated chicks returning as adults was about 12 to 1 ... 12 females and only one male.  

This season one chick fledged from a natural burrow that the parents dug under flax. All other burrows being used by adults are the artificial burrows installed for the translocation of chicks.

So far of the 80 chicks transferred in 2012, 16 have returned as adults.  Of the 80 chicks transferred in 2013, 11 have returned as adults and of the 77 chicks transferred in 2014, 5 have returned as adults. This is just the start of these transferred chicks returning as adults. New birds will continue to return for the first time for the next six years or so.

This looks very promising and is a great start.  The next two to three years should see the number of chicks being born and fledging rise considerably.


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