Emu Emu Society
Journal of BirdLife Australia

Establishment of a colony of Common Diving Petrels (Pelecanoides urinatrix) by chick transfers and acoustic attraction

Colin M. Miskelly and Graeme A. Taylor

Emu 104(3) 205 - 211
Published: 04 October 2004


Burrow-nesting petrels have been extirpated from many traditional breeding sites by human-induced factors, especially the introduction of predatory mammals. Petrels have proven to be extraordinarily difficult to attract or restore to secure sites due to their strong philopatry, and low intrinsic rates of population growth. Translocation and/or attraction techniques are needed to establish additional populations of endangered petrels to restore species to part or all of their historic range and to restore the keystone role of petrels in terrestrial ecosystems. We attempted to restore a colony of Common Diving Petrels (Pelecanoides urinatrix) on Mana Island, New Zealand, by a combination of broadcasting vocalisations, and by transferring and hand-feeding nestlings until they fledged. Calls were broadcast at night almost continuously during 1993–2003, and 239 chicks were transferred during 1997–99. About half the chicks fledged, and 20 of these have returned to Mana Island, along with 51¬†unbanded birds. Fifteen of the returned chicks have bred on Mana Island, and at least 14 parent-reared chicks fledged in 2002.


© Royal Australian Ornithologists Union 2004

Export Citation