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June 2024
This is one of the final reports for POP2022-08 Auckland Islands seabird research 2023/24. Published June 2024.

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POP2022-08 White-capped albatross population study, Disappointment Island 2024 (PDF 811K)

Summary

This report details population monitoring and surveys conducted for white-capped albatross at Disappointment Island in 2023/24.

White-capped albatross

White-capped albatrosses are the most frequently incidentally bycaught albatross species in New Zealand commercial fisheries. The species ranks highly in New Zealand Government risk assessment, with uncertainty around the estimate of adult survival. A white-capped albatross mark-recapture study was established on Disappointment Island in January 2015 to improve estimates of adult survival, and other key population demographic parameters. A 3.5-day research trip to Disappointment Island was conducted 18–21 January; the tenth visit to the island for white-capped albatross survival rate research. Annual survival rates for white-capped albatrosses vary substantially year-on-year, ranging between 0.83 ± 0.06 (± SE) in 2015 to 0.96 ± 0.03 in 2020. Mean annual survival over that period was 0.89 ± 0.04 (excluding the estimate for 2018 which had particularly high variance). Robust estimates of survival and productivity of white-capped albatross require continued visits to Disappointment Island. Banding should be a high priority to ensure the core mark-recapture study is not compromised, since precision of survival estimates is reliant on it. Tracking devices, and cameras to assess productivity, were also recovered and deployed.

Publication information

Parker, G.C., Osborne, J., Sagar, R., Schultz, H., Rexer-Huber, K. 2024. White-capped albatross population study, Disappointment Island 2024. POP2022-08 Final report to the Conservation Services Programme, Department of Conservation. Parker Conservation, Dunedin. 14 p.

Contact

Conservation Services Programme
Department of Conservation
PO Box 10-420
Wellington 6143

Email: csp@doc.govt.nz

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