Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment
Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until 16 October 2020
Applicant: Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
Species/Taxon: Little penguins (Eudyptula minor) and short-tailed shearwaters (Ardenna tenuirostris)
Location: Wedge Island (reserved land)
Title of research: Foraging ecology and population monitoring of short-tailed shearwaters and little penguins in Storm Bay
Aim of project:
1. To quantify the overlap in habitat use of two, key marine predators (little penguins and short-tailed shearwaters) in Storm Bay.
2. To determine the environmental factors affecting the movement patterns for the two seabird species.
3. To assess whether the habitat use and foraging behaviour of the seabirds changes in response to environmental variability between years (e.g. during marine heatwaves, changed local conditions) and/or in response to the introduction of a new, offshore aquaculture installation; and
4. To compare different methodologies for assessing population status and breeding activity.
This project will help develop evidence-based understanding of how minimally invasive census techniques align with convention census techniques. Similarly, the foraging ecology studies will provide fine-scale data on habitat use and its variability. Both these aspects will be of conservation management benefit for both species.
Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved:
Short-tailed shearwaters – 25000 individuals (IR drone surveys)
Little penguins – 500 (IR drone surveys)
Activities undertaken and methods:
Various census methodologies - burrow occupancy surveys, camera traps, acoustic Song Meters, night counts (IR binoculars), and IR drone surveys
Foraging ecology – deployment of small GPS tracking/dive depth recorders (17g) devices
Banding – short-tailed shearwaters will be banded with a small, metal unique legband
Fate of animals:
Will remain alive in the wild
Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch):
Impact to both species with maximum impact related to brief handling during deployment and retrieval of tracking devices