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Distribution and abundance of the Chatham Island Oystercatcher ( Haematopus chathamensis )

TitleDistribution and abundance of the Chatham Island Oystercatcher ( Haematopus chathamensis )
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsSchmechel, FA, O'Connor, S
Type of Articlepaper
KeywordsChatham Island Oystercatcher, Chatham Islands, endangered species, Haematopus chathamensis, population size

From 13 to 18 December 1998, we counted Chatham Island Oystercatchers (Haematopus chathamensis) on approximately 310 km (96 - 97%) of the coastlines of Chatham, Pitt, Rangatira, and Mangere Islands, and 100 km (100%) of the shore of Te Whanga Lagoon, Chatham Island. A total of 142 adult Chatham Island Oystercatchers, including 34 confirmed breeding pairs and seven additional possible breeding pairs, was found. This is an increase of 20 to 40 adults over any previous count or estimate. Some of this increase may be due to efforts by the Department of Conservation to increase productivity of breeding pairs since the early 1990s along the northern coast of Chatham Island. Approximately 70% percent of the breeding pairs were on Chatham Island, 15% on Pitt Island, 10% on Rangatira and 5% on Mangere Island. Most of the oystercatchers (79% of individuals and 74% of the breeding pairs) were in areas we broadly defined as containing rocky wave-cut platform or other rocky coastline or outcrops. Thirty individuals and nine breeding pairs were on sandy beaches. One immature bird was on the shore of Te Whanga Lagoon.

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