Short-tailed shearwater (Ardenna tenuirostris)

Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment
Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until 2​0 January 2021
Applicant: private individual

Short-tailed Shearwater (Ardenna tenuirostris)

Diamond Island, Bicheno (reserve – northerly site)
Cape Deslacs, Clifton Beach (reserve)
Whalebone Point, Bruny Island (reserve - southerly site)

Title of research: 
Monitoring Short-tailed Shearwater phenology in eastern Tasmania using song recorders

Aim of project:
This project will investigate temporal variation in STSH phenology for the 2020/21 breeding season. Short-tailed Shearwaters are generally highly synchronous (Carey et al. 2014; Cleeland et al. 2014). However, in the 2019/20 breeding season, many STSH returned from their southward migration ~2 weeks late (Glencross et al. in review). Despite this late arrival, monitored Tasmanian populations were observed to have a successful breeding season (Glencross et al. in review). The project seeks to quantify the temporal variability in STSH colonies in eastern Tasmania using low (minimal) impact passive listening stations (song recorders). The study will examine if there is variability among colonies. 

The study seeks to address broader questions related to environmental change and the capacity of STSH to adapt to these changes. Migratory seabirds are particularly vulnerable to shifting climatic systems (Cleeland et al. 2014; Renner et al. 2008) so insights into the phenological plasticity of STSH populations will contribute to future management plans.

Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved: 
No animals will be handled for this study. Whenever possible, the song meters will be attached to existing trees/PVC markers to minimise the need for wooden stakes to be placed within the colony. This minimises time within the colony, and therefore disturbance.

Activities undertaken and methods:
1. Deploy song meter at each site approx. a week before the adults are due to begin their northward migration (April 2021). Song meters will be attached to existing trees/PVC markers or wooden garden stakes  using cable ties.
2. Retrieve song meter at end of breeding season after the adults and fledglings have both departed (May 2021)

Fate of animals:
All birds will remain alive in the wild at all times. No animals will be handled for this study.

Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch):
Disturbance as a result of researchers being in the colonies will be minimised by keeping time spent in the vicinity to a minimum. Minimal (virtually no) pain or suffering is expected.


Scientific Research Permits
Natural and Cultural Heritage
Level 5, 134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000

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