Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) and 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 26 October 2019

Applicant: Jennifer Lavers

Species/Taxon: Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor), Short-tailed Shearwater (Ardenna tenuirostris)

Location: Privately owned island, located at the mouth of the Huon River

Title of research: Breeding success of Little Penguins and Short-tailed Shearwaters in south-east Tasmania

Aim of project: To establish the total population size and breeding success of Little Penguins and Short-tailed Shearwaters for the 2019/2020 season

Justification: BirdLife International lists the status of the Short-tailed Shearwater and Little Penguin as ‘Least Concern’, but has identified factors such as human disturbance and climatic variability as potential drivers of recent, localised population declines, including in Tasmania. This project will provide new population data that will complement other surveys in Tasmania and add to existing regional monitoring programs to allow researchers and managers to better understand the health of Tasmanian penguin and shearwater populations.

Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved: no more than 50 pairs of Little Penguins and 75 pairs of Short-tailed Shearwaters

Activities undertaken and methods: The total surface area of the breeding colony of each species will be precisely mapped by walking the perimeter using a high-resolution GPS and estimating the area based on the colony polygons. Burrow contents (occupancy rates) will be determined using a video scope, carefully introduced into the nesting chamber following approved animal ethics protocols (process requires <60 seconds).

Fate of animals: No birds (or their eggs) will be handled during this study, they will remain in their burrows at all times.

Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch): Minor stress, brief and minimal while researchers inspect the burrow using a scope. No pain, distress, or mortality is anticipated.

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