Thursday, April 15, 2021

Bird extinctions and fossil bones from Mangere Island, Chatham Islands

TitleBird extinctions and fossil bones from Mangere Island, Chatham Islands
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsTennyson, AJD, Millener, PR
Type of Articlepaper

Fossil bones and earlier observations indicate that up to 22 species of bird have become extinct on Mangere Island. The extinctions appear to have been primarily a result of predation by cats, but human hunting and bush clearance are likely to account for the disappearance of some species. A crested penguin Eudyptes ?n.sp., two species of Pterodroma petrel, a shelduck Tadorna ?n.sp., Dieffenbach's Rail Gallirallus dieffenbachii, and a kaka Nestor ?n.sp. are present in fossil deposits on Mangere Island, but have not been reported from the island before. The relative proportion of remains in the deposits suggest that Blue Penguins Eudyptula minor, Broad-billed Prions Pachyptila vittata and Sooty Shearwaters Puffinus griseus have become more common on the island. Any such increases on Mangere Island, could have been a response of a few species to the large decrease in numbers and diversity that has affected seabirds as a whole at the Chathams. Some seabird species may have been able to increase because of reduced competition for food.

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