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Some thoughts on Caspian Terns in New Zealand

TitleSome thoughts on Caspian Terns in New Zealand
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsSibson, RB
JournalNotornis
Volume39
Issue2
Pagination87-93
Type of Articlepaper
Abstract

Early European naturalists and explorers, who of necessity spent much of their time near the coast, do not seem to have logged or noticed Caspian Terns. This notable species was not officially listed in New Zealand till about 1860. It was regarded as rather scarce throughout the 19th century and even well into the 20th century. Two possible explanations for this apparent scarcity are offered: (a) that, as it laid large palatable eggs in places that were usually accessible, it had become scarce after 800 years of hungry human (Polynesian) predation, and (b) that, like some other waterfowl, e.g. Pukeko, White-faced Heron, Royal Spoonbill, it is a comparative newcomer to New Zealand and has enjoyed a 'boom period' in the middle of the 20th century.

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