Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Student looks into impact of ‘seabird wreck’

Student looks into impact of ‘seabird wreck’

22 October 2013

UQ Bachelor of Environmental Management student Elizabeth Crotty.A student from The University of Queensland has been analysing a collection of almost nine hundred dead whalebirds, which were marooned on New Zealand's west coasts after a storm in 2011 killed hundreds of thousands of them.

Elizabeth Crotty is completing a three-month placement in Wellington, at the research centre at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, as part of her Bachelor of Environmental Management.

She has been studying prions, otherwise known as whalebirds. There are six different species of the small, blue-grey petrels, which spend the majority of their lives on the open ocean.

“It's not uncommon for a few dead birds to wash up on New Zealand's shore after stormy weather, but the huge number of whalebirds killed in this storm was unusual,” Ms Crotty said.

“Seabirds in general live a long time and have a low reproductive output, so populations are highly sensitive to changes in adult survival,” she said.

“The information I have collected will help us to understand which species of whalebird died during the storm and how their remaining populations might be affected by the losses.”

While juvenile mortality is a normal occurrence, the loss of breeding adults could have significant effects.

“When I first arrived in July and saw the number of birds to analyse I was overwhelmed,” Ms Crotty said.

“The priority of this project is to gain demographic information from the birds that died, however I am also extracting the tongue for genetic analysis, and collecting digestive tracts which will be examined to assess presence of ingested plastics.”

Te Papa will open its research centre to the world on Tuesday 22 October 2013 with a live YouTube stream from one of its laboratories.

Six scientists working at Te Papa, including Ms Crotty, will share the work they have been doing and explain what they hope to learn from studying these birds.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Warming: Warming Signs From State Of Climate Report

Climate data from air, land, sea and ice in 2013 'reflect trends of a warming planet' -- says the latest State of the Climate report, launched by U.S. and New Zealand scientists. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Embrace Falling Home Affordability, Says NZIER

Despair over the inability to afford a house is misplaced and should be embraced as an opportunity to invest in more wealth-creating activity, says the principal economist at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Shamubeel Eaqub. More>>

Productivity Commission: NZ Regulation Not Keeping Pace

New Zealand regulators often have to work with out-of-date legislation, quality checks are under strain, and regulatory workers need better training and development. More>>

ALSO:

Callaghan Innovation: Investment To Help Deepen Innovation Reporting

Callaghan Innovation, the government’s high tech HQ for Kiwi business, is to help deepen New Zealand media coverage of the commercialisation of innovation through an arms-length partnership with independent business news service BusinessDesk. More>>

ALSO:

Tax Credits, Grants: Greens $1Bn R&D Plan

In the Party’s headline economic announcement, the Greens have launched their plan to build a smarter, more innovative economy which has as its centrepiece an additional $1 billion of government investment in research and development (R&D) above current spend, including tax breaks for business. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news