Sunday, July 5, 2020

History and causes of the extirpation of the Providence petrel ( Pterodroma solandri ) on Norfolk Island

TitleHistory and causes of the extirpation of the Providence petrel ( Pterodroma solandri ) on Norfolk Island
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsMedway, DG
JournalNotornis
Volume49
Issue4
Pagination246-258
Type of Articlepaper
Keywordsextupation, human harvesting, mammalian predation, Norfolk Island, Providence petrel, Pterodroma solandri
Abstract

The population of Providence petrels (Pterodroma solandri) that nested on Norfolk Island at the time of 1st European settlement of that island in 1788 was probably >1 million pairs. Available evidence indicates that Europeans harvested many more Providence petrels in the years immediately after settlement than previously believed. About 1,000,000 Providence petrels, adults and young, were harvested in the 4 breeding seasons from 1790 to 1793 alone. Despite these enormous losses, many Providence petrels were apparently still nesting on Norfolk Island in 1795 when they are last mentioned in documents from the island. However, any breeding population that may have survived there until 1814 when Norfolk Island was abandoned temporarily was probably exterminated by the combined activities of introduced cats and pigs which had become very numerous by the time the island was re-occupied in 1825.

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