A survey of Fiordland crested penguins / tawaki (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus) from Cascade River to Martins Bay, South Westland, New Zealand, 2014
|Title||A survey of Fiordland crested penguins / tawaki (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus) from Cascade River to Martins Bay, South Westland, New Zealand, 2014|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2017|
|Type of Article||Full article|
|Keywords||abundance, breeding colony, distribution, Eudyptes pachyrhynchus, Fiordland Crested Penguin, population estimate, south Westland, survey|
A survey of Fiordland crested penguin/tawaki, Eudyptes pachyrhynchus, breeding colonies between Cascade River and Martins Bay, South Westland, was undertaken from August to September 2014 to obtain an accurate population estimate for the area. A total of 835 nests was found, making this one of the major breeding locations for the species. This total represents a minimum estimate as tawaki nests are spread through large areas of dense forest and are very difficult to locate, and so count accurately. A total of 150 nests was observed in previous surveys of the same location. This dramatic difference in results (835 vs. 150) is attributed to a difference in survey methods and the surveyor’s familiarity with the breeding area, not a population increase. Given these results and the difficulty involved in locating tawaki, it is likely that the species’ overall population size has been significantly underestimated.