Wednesday, January 19, 2022

A review of the seabirds of Phillip Island in the Norfolk Island Group

TitleA review of the seabirds of Phillip Island in the Norfolk Island Group
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsPriddel, D, Carlile, N, Evans, O, Evans, B, McCoy, H
Type of ArticleFull article
Keywordsflesh-footed shearwater, island restoration, Kermadec Petrel, Providence petrel, Pterodroma cervicalis, Pterodroma neglecta, Pterodroma solandri, Puffinus carneipes, white-naped petrel

Few places have been as ecologically devastated by the introduction of exotic mammals as Phillip Island in the Norfolk Island Group. Pigs (Sus scrofa), goats (Capra hircus) and rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) denuded the island so severely that massive amounts of soil and underlying substrate were lost through erosion. Rabbits, the last of these exotic animals to be removed, were eradicated during the 1980’s. Since then the extent of vegetation on the island has been increasing by natural revegetation and through plantings and seeding. Fourteen species of seabird currently breed on Phillip Island. Five species—Providence petrel (Pterodroma solandri), Kermadec petrel (P. neglecta), white-naped petrel (P. cervicalis), flesh-footed shearwater (Puffinus carneipes) and red-tailed tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda)—all have ecologically significant populations. In this paper, we review the current status of the seabird populations breeding on Phillip Island, and suggest how vegetation restoration is likely to affect each species. We update previously published notes and present unpublished material collected by us over more than 3 decades. We document when each species was first discovered, reveal the location of nesting sites, describe breeding phenology and nesting habitat, report on any banding activities and returns, and discuss potential threats.

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