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

 

Must Sell 20 Petrol Stations: Z Cleared To Buy Caltex Assets

Z Energy is allowed to buy the Caltex and Challenge! petrol station chains but must sell 19 of its retail sites and one truck-stop, the Commerce Commission has ruled in a split decision that acknowledges possible retail price coordination between fuel retailers occurs in some regions. More>>

ALSO:

Huntly: Genesis Extends Life Of Coal-Fuelled Power Station To 2022

Genesis Energy will keep its two coal and gas-fired units at Huntly Power Station operating until 2022, having previously said they'd be closed by 2018, after wringing a high price from other electricity generators who wanted to keep them as back-up. More>>

ALSO:

Dammed If You Do: Ruataniwha Irrigation Scheme Hits Farmer Uptake Targets

Enough Hawke's Bay farmers have signed up for water from the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme for it to go ahead as long as a cornerstone institutional capital investor can be found to back it, its regional council promoter announced. More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: OCR Stays At 2.25%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2.25 percent, in a decision traders had said could go either way, while predicting inflation will pick up as the slump in oil prices washes out of the data and capacity pressures start to build in the economy. More>>

ALSO:

Export Values Down: NZ Posts Biggest Annual Trade Deficit In 7 Years

New Zealand has recorded its biggest annual trade deficit since April 2009, reflecting weaker prices of agricultural commodities such as dairy products, beef and lamb, and increased imports of vehicles and machinery. More>>

ALSO:

Currency Events: NZ's New $5 Note Wins International Banknote Award

New Zealand’s new Brighter Money $5 note has been named Banknote of the Year in a prestigious international competition. The $5 note was awarded the IBNS Banknote of the Year title at the International Bank Note Society’s annual meeting. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news