Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Campbell Island snipe (Coenocorypha undescribed sp.) recolonise subantarctic Campbell Island following rat eradication

TitleCampbell Island snipe (Coenocorypha undescribed sp.) recolonise subantarctic Campbell Island following rat eradication
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsMiskelly, CM, Fraser, JR
JournalNotornis
Volume53
Issue4
Pagination353-359
Type of Articlearticle
KeywordsCampbell Island, Coenocorypha aucklandica, New Zealand Snipe, population recovery, rat eradication
Abstract

The Campbell Is snipe (Coenocorypha undescribed sp.) was unknown to science until its discovery on 19 ha Jacquemart I in 1997. Following the successful eradication of Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) from 11,268 ha Campbell I in 2001, there was increasing evidence that snipe had begun to recolonise the main island: footprints were found at Monument Harbour in 2003, and a fully-feathered dependent chick was captured nearby in Mar 2005. A survey of Campbell Is snipe recolonising Campbell I was undertaken by the authors and a trained bird-locater dog during 7-15 Jan 2006. We confirmed the presence of snipe and their successful breeding at 2 sites: the outlet to Six Foot Lake (head of Monument Harbour), and near the mouth of Kirk Stream at the head of Six Foot Lake. We estimated at least 22 adult snipe to be present. Twelve adult snipe were caught, along with 5 dependent chicks with estimated ages ranging from 8 to 37 d. One snipe nest was found. Subsequent sightings in Feb 2006 revealed at least 2 snipe to be present on the north-western shores of Perseverance Harbour, c. 3 km north of where we recorded them. We document the successful re-establishment of snipe on Campbell I within 5 years of rat eradication, and recommend that their natural recolonisation be left to continue unaided.

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