Macquarie Island Albatross and Penguins

​​Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment

Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until 26 November
Applicant: Annie Philips, Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania

 
Species/Taxon:
king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus)
gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) ​
southern rockhopper penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome)
light-mantled sooty albatross (Phoebetria palpebrata)
grey-headed albatross (Thalassarche chrysostoma)
black-browed albatross (Thalassarche melanophris)
wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans)
 
Location: Macquarie Island Nature Reserve
Title of research: Disease surveillance of albatross and penguin species on Macquarie Island.
Aim of project: The aim of this project is to determine baseline pathogen and diseases affecting the albatross and penguins of Macquarie Island. In addition potential vectors will be analysed for pathogens. Sampling for pathogens will be undertaken during routine annual monitoring of bird populations. Pathogen investigations will complement data on population trends.

 
Justification:
- Many of the bird species on Macquarie Island are monitored annually to assess population trends over time. In some bird species a gradual decline has been detected. Threatening processes include climate change, impact of fisheries, potential of fuel spills, and ingestion of plastics. Disease is an additional threatening process that could contribute to species declines.
- The role of disease as a contributing threatening process affecting these species has not been systematically investigated on Macquarie Island.
- Results will be interpreted with population monitoring data from the same species. If pathogens and/or disease are detected, management options will be investigated. These may include vector control, vaccination and biosecurity. Any increase in survival rates in declining species has potential to improve the conservation status of that species.

 
Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved:
Species  Total no.
proposed for use over the duration of the project  
king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus)  50
gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua)  50
southern rockhopper penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome)  50
light-mantled sooty albatross (Phoebetria palpebrata)  50
grey-headed albatross (Thalassarche chrysostoma)  30
black-browed albatross (Thalassarche melanophris)  30
wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans)  5

Activities undertaken and methods: This proposal involves collection of cloacal swabs, blood samples and ectoparasites.

Fate of animals: Immediately released following sampling.

 
Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch): Minimal short term stress response during capture, otherwise no impact.


Contact

Scientific Research Permits
Natural Values Conservation Branch
134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Email: Scientific.Permits@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

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