Survival of breeding Finsch's oystercatchers ( Haematopus finschi ) on farmland in Canterbury, New Zealand
|Title||Survival of breeding Finsch's oystercatchers ( Haematopus finschi ) on farmland in Canterbury, New Zealand|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2002|
|Authors||Sagar, PM, Barker, RJ, Geddes, D|
|Type of Article||paper|
|Keywords||Haematopodidae, land use, mortality, New Zealand, population change|
We investigated the annual survival of Finsch's oystercatchers (Haematopus finschi) breeding on farmland in mid-Canterbury, New Zealand. Annual survival from 1987 to 2000 averaged 0.892, with evidence of a small amount of variation in survival rates through time (estimated SD = 0.034). We found no indication that survival rates differed between males and females. However, recapture probabilities showed that males had stronger fidelity to breeding territories than did females. These results are similar to those reported from populations of H. ostralegus in Europe. Because oystercatchers are long-lived, the survival rate of adults is the key component in determining population size. Intensification of agriculture on the breeding grounds and disruption to coastal feeding grounds may reverse the trend for population increase in this species. Consequently, the survival rate presented here provides a basis for predicting future population trends.