Thursday, November 22, 2018

The status of the red-billed gull (Larus novaehollandiae scopulinus) in New Zealand, 2014–2016

TitleThe status of the red-billed gull (Larus novaehollandiae scopulinus) in New Zealand, 2014–2016
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsFrost, PGH, Taylor, GA
JournalNotornis
Volume65
Issue1
Pagination1-13
Type of ArticleFull article
Keywordsbreeding population, colony survey, Larus novaehollandiae scopulinus, New Zealand, red-billed gull
Abstract

A national survey of breeding red-billed gulls (Larus novaehollandiae scopulinus) was carried out during 2014–2016 to establish the present status of the species. Observers were asked to find and report all breeding colonies, starting with a check of previously reported breeding sites. Standardised means of conducting these surveys were developed, publicised, and largely applied. Around 27,831 pairs of red-billed gulls were recorded nesting in New Zealand during the survey: 14,713 pairs at 122 South Island sites; 12,676 pairs at 124 North Island sites; and 442 pairs at 14 sites on the Chatham Islands. Other than colonies on the Three Kings Islands (1,763 pairs) and Takapourewa/Stephens Island (1,250 pairs) there were no large concentrations on offshore islands. The largest mainland concentrations were at Kaikoura (3,210 pairs), Taiaroa Head (2,145), Rotorua (2,277) and Marsden Point (1,190). Although the accuracy of previous estimates is questionable, the red-billed gull nevertheless appears to have declined nationally since the mid-1960s. Possible reasons for the decline are discussed and a proposal for future monitoring of the species is proposed.

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