Thursday, January 20, 2022

Birds of Enderby Island, Auckland Islands, New Zealand subantarctic

TitleBirds of Enderby Island, Auckland Islands, New Zealand subantarctic
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsFrench, RK, Miskelly, CM, Muller, CG, Russ, RB, Taylor, GA, Tennyson, AJD
Type of ArticleFull article
KeywordsAuckland Islands, biogeography, Enderby Island, New Zealand, population ecology, subantarctic

Enderby Island is a much-visited small island in the New Zealand subantarctic, and is an important area for birdlife. However, despite this, the bird community of Enderby Island has never been systematically described. We summarise bird records on Enderby Island from 1840 to 2018. Using these data we describe the bird community with an emphasis on resident species, and compare the frequency of sightings before and after eradication of invasive mammals in 1993. We also investigate trends in bird sightings from 1992 to 2018. There was a significant increase in the sightings of some species, including tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) and silvereye (Zosterops lateralis), and a significant decrease in others, including white-fronted tern (Sterna striata). Some species, such as New Zealand falcon (Falco novaeseelandiae) and Auckland Island snipe (Coenocorypha aucklandica aucklandica), have recovered successfully following dramatic historical declines. We hypothesise that these trends in sightings are driven by changes in human exploitation, the introduction and subsequent eradication of browsing mammals and mice, changes in the abundance and structure of the invertebrate community, and changes in vegetation cover. However, we believe that trends in sighting rates of southern royal albatross (Diomedea epomophora) may be an artefact of changes in visitor behaviour following the construction of a boardwalk, rather than changes in the species’ abundance.

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