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

 

R18: The Warehouse Group Praised For Removing Games

The decision by New Zealand’s largest retailer The Warehouse Group (TW Group), to withdraw stocks of the latest version of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) and other R18 games, has been praised by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation. More>>

ALSO:

Air NZ Wine Awards: Victory For Villa Maria As Pinot Noir Thrills

It was a night to remember as Villa Maria Estate picked up one of the highest accolades of the evening, the O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show Trophy, at the 28th Air New Zealand Wine Awards. The Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Marlborough ... More>>

ALSO:

Future Brighter Money: RBNZ Releases New Bank Note Designs

New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year. More>>

ALSO:

Commerce: Supermarket Inquiry Finds No Breaches By Countdown

The Commerce Commission inquiry into anti-competitive behaviour by Countdown supermarkets, alleged by former Labour Party MP Shane Jones, has found nothing to warrant prosecution, although it warns supermarkets to take care in the way they communicate... More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: English Flags ‘Challenge’ To Budget Surplus

Finance Minister Bill English is warning next month’s half yearly fiscal and economic update from the Treasury may not forecast a budget surplus, saying that returning the government’s accounts to surplus in 2015 will be “a challenge”, given the decline in commodity prices and weak global inflation. More>>

ALSO:

March 2015: Netflix To Launch In Australia And New Zealand

World’s Leading Internet Television Network to Offer Original Series, Movies, Documentaries, Stand-Up Comedy Specials and TV Shows for Low Monthly Price More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese (Is Up): Dairy Product Prices Fall To Five-Year Low

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction to the lowest level in more than five years, led by declines in rennet casein and skim milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

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