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This is the Conclusion section of the 2019/2020 annual report about fluttering shearwaters on Mana Island. It was written for FOMI and DOC by Helen Gummer, 10 March 2020. The full report details the results of fluttering shearwater monitoring efforts through 2019 and the outcome of the most recent 2019/20 breeding season. ____________________________________________________________________________ A total of 92 adult fluttering shearwaters have been handled and identified on Mana Island since the reintroduction of the species commenced here in 2006. This season, 81 adult fluttering shearwaters were captured. (Table 1) The adult population comprises approximately two-thirds known-age (translocated) birds all over 12 years old, and around a quarter of birds were hatched and raised on Mana I., i.e. are up to 8 years in age. Two new immigrants were banded bringing the total number of adults of unknown age lured to the island either by sound or the activity of other birds to nine. This season, there were no first-time adult recaptures on Mana of birds that had been translocated there in 2006-08. However, one such new recapture of a 12.5-year-old bird (i.e. from the 2007 translocation cohort) was made on Matiu/Somes I. on 30 October 2019 (Shane Cotter pers. comm.). A total of 72 fluttering shearwaters transferred to Mana I. in 2006−2008 are now reported to have survived with 62 birds recaptured as adults on Mana I. and 10 birds found on Matiu/Somes I. (Table 2) We can now report a 48% survival rate of the 2007 cohort of translocated chicks, and 34% all three translocated chick cohorts combined so far exceeds that found for translocation projects involving any other seabird species in NZ, except for the Chatham Island taiko. The return rate of birds to Mana I. remains at 29% of all translocated birds. To compare, we can now begin to report some impressive survival rates of birds that were hatched and raised on Mana I. since breeding commenced in 2010/11 including: 50% of all fledglings banded in the 2012/13 season; and, 54% of those banded in the 2013/14 season. So far, a total of 21 Mana-raised chicks have been recruited as adults into the Mana I. population since 2015, and one Mana-raised chick (from 2014/15 cohort) joined the colony on Matiu/Somes I. last year. (Table 3) A total of 36 chicks fledged (Table 4); 29 at South Point and seven at the Northern Colony. This brings the total number of Mana-raised chicks fledging from the island to 182. The very high breeding success rate (90% of breeding attempts resulting in chicks fledging) this season can be attributed in part to favourable weather conditions through most of the incubating...

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At the time of writing this report New Zealand will go into lockdown to minimise the spread of coronavirus, at midnight tonight. This trip is likely to be our last for some time. Nine people participated in a very productive weekend with all tasks completed. Fewer numbers allowed greater distance between volunteers in the bedrooms. Our first task was to monitor critter activity in 40 of the trial mature flax plants, on Friday night i.e. the flax weevils. This activity was repeated with the remaining 40 plants Saturday night. Many of the marked weevils were found. We are yet to hear if there has been any movement between plants. Will continued the pitfall trapping of the trial area with Robin C and Richard, Saturday and Sunday. Jason and Adrian used old wharf materials to construct a replacement picnic table for the one removed from near the Tirohanga/Southern Track (northern one). Jason used the tractor to transport it to the site. Jason, Allan and Dale celebrated its arrival with port, cider and cheese and crackers. Seating for the hide was also made and installed Sunday. Allan and David placed small wooden blocks at the entrance of the white-faced storm petrel burrows (to restrict the size of birds entering) – Cathy’s idea to prevent flutterers and fairy prions using the burrows. David managed to also do some fernbird tracking. Surveying the flax planting around the island was carried out by David and Robin C – an important element of Will’s research programme. The Central Track was also pruned back. Those who finished early were able to remove weeds encroaching on/restricting movement along the wetland track. Dale cleared the caravan ready for removal and the office garage and FOMI storeroom tided up/stored materials. This was an enjoyable, smaller scale volunteer weekend. A number mentioned how smaller meant a better chance to get to interact with others. Everyone had a chance on Saturday night to introduce and brag about themselves and their connection with the island. Dale Shirtliff  ...

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This weekend our group focused on Will Brockelsby’s flax weevil research project. There were 12 of us though Annemieke and Andrea doubled as part of the white-faced storm petrel feeding (WFSP) team. The feeding team were also at the Lockwood. We shared a meal with them. Colin Miskelly outlined the flax weevil project so all present could appreciate the issues involved with the success/plague the weevils had created. Will outlined the night’s work. The usual Friday survey of the 80 trial flax plants was to be carried out with the weevils seen to be collected. To follow, a total of around 800 weevils on adjacent areas was needed. These were found with little difficulty and transported to a table set up in the office building. Will, Andrea, Jenny (from Lincoln) processed around a quarter of these – attaching numbered and coloured tiny tags (used on queen bees). Containers with the tagged weevils were labelled with plant numbers and had unmarked weevils added. These were transported back up the hill and released. Colin, Richard G, Christine, Peter, Annemieke, Jaz, Adrian and Dale carried this out. This was pretty much completed by 2am. A few showers Saturday morning delayed the setting up of the pitfall traps at the base of the trial flaxes. The group walked to the WFSP site to check out the burrows and site and take a look at the feeding process before proceeding to begin monitoring and opening up the pitfalls at the flax weevil site. Night two began with a shared meal with the new WFSP feeders. The group we had eaten with on Friday night returned home on the back sailing. The round the group intros were done again. Cathy M told us about her background and the WFSP project so far. As usual there were lots of questions and huge interest in the discussion. No plant survey was required Saturday evening so it was straight into collecting another 800 weevils for processing/packaging at the office. The whole weevil group was involved. Weevils were sourced this time from flax bushes near the top of Central Track. Another batch of weevils had tags attached, had non-tagged weevil added and were returned to and released onto their assigned flax bushes. The plentiful supply of weevils meant that all was finished around midnight. On Sunday the beauveria fungus solution to be sprayed on selected flax plants was prepared at the Lockwood by Jenny. The pitfall traps at the base of the trial flaxes were monitored and closed by Peter, Christine and Colin – catches were recorded. This team was followed up by a team (Adrian, Richard, Jaz and Dale)...

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The weather relented and allowed us easy passage on Friday. Nick and Gen, Theo and baby Georgia were at the boat to meet us after their 2 month stint on parental leave. Nice to see them back. Will led a large group to monitor fauna on the 80 flax bushes in his research project. Helen took Lucy up to the fluttering shearwater site checking out a few remaining burrows she suspected may have eggs or chicks. Saturday was a beautiful sunny day. John, Ben, Riana and Richard M left early to begin the beach litter survey south of McGregor’s Rock. Litter collection at their other two sites + the audits of materials found were completed by the end of the day. Helen and Andrea did maintenance at the fluttering shearwater site and carried out further prep work with the white-faced storm petrel burrows including pruning back spiky vegetation. Shannan, Joy and Richard G assisted Will setting up the pitfall traps at flax weevil project site. Later Will and Richard checked the flow of the irrigation system in preparation for the summer release of adult weevils where some plants will be watered. Annemieke, Cherie, Heather and Lucy made the most of the sunny morning trying to spot green geckos – no luck. They had set up the speckled skink pitfalls Friday night. Later the group installed 10 new traps at a site Richard G had spotted a possible ‘speckled’ last trip. Allan, Kate, Shannon and Joy continued the clearance of the upper Weta Valley track. Very overgrown. There was lots of pollen about and a few cases of hay fever. The group was not so active Saturday evening although Helen went back to the flutterers site to do further checks.  News came through that Sunday afternoon was not looking good for a safe trip home. Big winds and seas were forecast. Sunday dawned cloudy and windy. Everyone set off on their tasks but with a warning that they may need to cut short and come back early. Trevor (skipper) was contactable around 9am. He agreed that predicted gusts of 45 knots was not safe and that he would pick up the group at midday. All leaders were phoned and everyone was back by 11.30. Will and a small group managed to complete the flax weevil monitoring. Annemieke and the lizard group did a shortened ngahere gecko monitor and shut down their pitfall traps. Unfortunately no target lizards were found though a likely skink was spotted on the track near the new pitfalls.   The weather was pretty rough as the afternoon progressed. Just as well, we got back on the midday...

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Shore plover banding combos 2020


Posted on Apr 24, 2020

This is the message from the DOC ranger, 22/4/20 on how to ID the shore plovers…. Kia ora keen tūturuatu/shore plover spotters, First off, thanks to you all for being the eyes on the mainland for these special birds. Your sightings have been invaluable in tracking the movements of birds from Mana Island since the first release this year on February 13th. Since then there have been three transfers with a total of 31 birds arriving to Mana. Attached are the band combinations of all 31 birds (note, four birds only have one colour band). In an attempt to streamline the info coming in could we please ask from now on: Record date, time, location and colour band info for each sighting as best you can Send pictures only if all colour bands are clear and identifiable Include other useful info i.e. feeding behaviour, other birds close by, any sign of predators etc Collate your sightings and please send through weekly, on a Friday Please email all info and images to manaisland@doc.govt.nz, rcollen@doc.govt.nz and Cc btandy@doc.govt.nz. Thanks again and hopefully we see some of the more exploratory birds back on Mana soon…  Cheers Nick             Mana Island shore plover band combos 2020                 Band colours Sex Transfer date Release date Comments (incl. recent locations seen) 1 RO-BG F 5/02/20 13/02/20   2 RO-BR M 5/02/20 13/02/20   3 RO-BW M 5/02/20 13/02/20 Mana Island 4 RO-BY F 5/02/20 13/02/20 Mana Island 5 RO-GO M 5/02/20 13/02/20   6 RO-GR M 5/02/20 13/02/20   7 RO-GW F 5/02/20 13/02/20 Hutt River mouth 8 RO-OB F 5/02/20 13/02/20   9 RO-OG F 5/02/20 13/02/20   10 RO-OR F 5/02/20 13/02/20   11 RO-OY F 5/02/20 13/02/20   12 RO-RB F 5/02/20 13/02/20   13 RO-RG M 5/02/20 13/02/20   14 RO-RO M 5/02/20 13/02/20   15 RO-RW M 5/02/20 13/02/20 22/2/20 – transferred to Wildbase 16 RO-RY F 5/02/20 13/02/20   17 RO-WB   5/02/20 13/02/20 Miramar Peninsular, Hutt River mouth 18  — B F 25/03/20 3/04/20   19  — O F 25/03/20 3/04/20 Plimmerton 20  — R F 25/03/20 3/04/20 Plimmerton 21  W — F 25/03/20 3/04/20 Plimmerton 22 YO-RB M 25/03/20 3/04/20 Mana Island 23 YO-RY M 25/03/20 3/04/20 Mana Island 24 YO-WB F 25/03/20 3/04/20 Plimmerton 25 YO-WG F 25/03/20 3/04/20   26 YO-WO F 25/03/20 3/04/20 Titahi Bay 27 RO-BO M 11/04/20 20/04/20 Mana Island 28 RO-WO F 12/04/20 20/04/20 Mana Island 29 RO-WR   13/04/20 20/04/20 Mana Island 30 RO-YR M 14/04/20 20/04/20 Mana Island 31 RO-GY F 15/04/20 20/04/20 Mana Island...

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