April 2011
This report is part of an ongoing long-term study of the black petrel on Great Barrier Island (Aotea Island), New Zealand, which was begun during the 1995/96 breeding season.


This report is part of an ongoing long-term study of the black petrel, Procellaria parkinsoni, on Great Barrier Island (Aotea Island) that was begun in the 1995/96 breeding season.

During the 2007/08 breeding season, 379 study burrows within the 35-ha study site near Mount Hobson (Hirakimata) were checked and intensively monitored. Of these, 256 were used by breeding pairs, 65 by nonbreeding adults and the remaining 58 burrows were empty.

By 13 April 2008, 190 chicks were still present in the study burrows and eight had already fledged, corresponding to a breeding success of 77%.

Nine census grids were monitored within the study area and accounted for 148 of the inspected burrows, with 91 burrows being used for breeding.

Twenty-seven chicks from earlier breeding seasons were recaptured within the Mount Hobson colony area this season (a total of 67 ‘returned chicks’ have been caught since the 1999/2000 season).

Analysis of the census grid data estimated the black petrel population from the 35-ha area around Mount Hobson to be in the range of 3342–4130 birds.

Twenty-eight Lotek™ geo-locator data-loggers were deployed on breeding black petrels. Eight were retrieved for tracking analysis (to determine foraging locations and possible interaction with fisheries) and the remaining loggers were left for retrieval after the birds’ migration to South America and return to the colony in the following (2008/09) breeding season.

Publication information

By Elizabeth A. Bell, Joanna L. Sim and Paul Scofield

DOC Marine Conservation Services Series 8
Published by:

Whare Kaupapa Atawhai / Conservation House Head Office
Phone:   0800 275 362
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   18 Manners Street
Wellington 6011
Postal Address:   PO Box 10420
Wellington 6140

ISSN 1179–3147 (web PDF)
ISBN 978–0–478–14871–8 (web PDF)


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


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