For the third successive year, an aerial survey of breeding White-capped Albatrosses Thalassarche steadi has been undertaken at the Auckland Islands, south of New Zealand.
The survey was made by Latitude 42 Environmental Consultants under contract to New Zealand’s Ministry of Fisheries. A helicopter flew the photographic team, led by Barry Baker, from Invercargill, South Island to Enderby Island in the Auckland Group on 14 December for refueling. Aerial photography was then undertaken at Disappointment Island (where the bulk of the species’ population breeds), South West Cape on the main island, and at Adams Island. The helicopter then returned the same day to Invercargill via a second refueling stop on Enderby.
The five-year study aims to estimate population size and track population trends, as part of larger programme directed at assessing the effects of fishing on the population viability of selected seabird species.
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, with input from Barry Baker, Latitude 42 Environmental Consultants, 17 December 2008