Posts categorized as Field trips

Fish survey off Dunedin: hagfish surprise

A hagfish specimen, Eptatretus cirrhatus, producing large amount of slime when manipulated on the deck.

Day 6:  last stations off the Otago Peninsula sampled. We are ready to move towards the Auckland Islands. We have been blessed with good weather conditions for the last six days which allowed us to complete quickly our diversity survey between 50m and 1200m depth off the Otago Peninsula. We have deployed 50 videos units,… Read more »

Our Far South: What it boils down to

  • Elephant seals and regenerating tussock. Victor Anderlini.
  • Elephant seals on the tussock flats. Victor Anderlini.
  • Aurora australis. Photo WWF.
  • King penguins surrounding the zodiac. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.

We arrived at Macquarie Island - the sheltered waters in the lee of the island provided a welcome relief from the open ocean we had crossed between here and the Auckland Islands. The cool subantarctic summer did not detract from the spectacular wildlife – elephant seals and penguins everywhere! Until 1920 the elephant seals and penguins… Read more »

Our Far South: from shipwrecks to high seas

  • Heading south. Image WWF.
  • Adams Island in fog, Carnley Harbour. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa
  • Wreck of the Grafton. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.
  • Becalmed in Carnley Harbour. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa

I awoke to find that the boat had moved over night to the bottom end of the Auckland Islands, into Carnley harbour, with Adams island to our south. Adams island is home to Gibson’s wandering albatross – DNA research is currently being carried out to determine if Gibson’s Albatross is distinct from other wandering albatross species…. Read more »

Fish team research expedition

Scientists and crew prepare the deployment a fish trap to be sent in the deep canyons off Otago Peninsula

Day 2: sampling off Otago Peninsula. Our survey onboard the MV Tranquil Image has started after a rough transit from Wellington to Dunedin. After a very successful day 1 deploying camera and traps in the shallow (50 and 100 m), today we have started exploring the deep canyons of the area some 25 nautical miles… Read more »

No evidence that stoats have impacted on Kapiti Island’s birds

  • North Island saddleback displaying. Photo: Rob Cross
  • Timeline for stoat arrival, detection and the trapping of three individuals on Kapiti Island. The curve shows saddleback count results over the same period (average number of birds counted per 5 minutes), with no apparent reduction during the time that stoats were known to be present. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • A saddleback specimen in the Te Papa collection – an unwilling sentinel species for stoat impacts. Image: Te Papa
  • The skeleton of the male stoat trapped on Kapiti Island in February 2011 is held by Te Papa (LM 2603). Photo: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa

Kapiti Island is one of New Zealand’s premier bird sanctuaries. It is home to nationally important populations of little spotted kiwi, kaka, North Island saddleback, stitchbird and North Island robin, as well as other threatened bird species. The island was considered to be free of all introduced mammal pests after rats were eradicated in 1996…. Read more »

Our Far South

  • Auckland Islands sign and NZ sea lion pup. Photo Anton van Helden. © Te Papa
  • Elephant Seal  Auckland Islands 1995. Photo Anton van Helden .© Te Papa
  • Auckland Islands sign and pup
  • Sandy Bay Enderby Is Auckland Islands 1995

Welcome to Our Far South. This coming Friday I will be standing on the dock at Bluff, looking south, and about to board a boat heading to the sub-Antarctic Islands and the great white continent itself as part of the Our Far South project (www.ourfarsouth.org). What will I see? We all know about Stewart Island… Read more »

One step forward after three steps back – slow progress with restoring populations of New Zealand seabirds

  • Colin Miskelly holding a fluttering shearwater chick, Mana Island, January 2012. Photo: Kate McAlpine & Colin Miskelly
  • Translocated fluttering shearwater chick being fed a sardine smoothy, Mana Island, January 2007. Photo: David Cornick
  • Diving petrels and fluttering shearwaters killed by the Rena oil spill, Bay of Plenty, October 2011. Photo: Colin Miskelly
  • Diving petrels and fluttering shearwaters killed by the Rena oil spill, Bay of Plenty, October 2011. Photo: Colin Miskelly

2011 was a grim year for New Zealand seabirds. They suffered the triple-whammy of nuclear-fallout from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant affecting the North Pacific non-breeding grounds of at least four species, a severe winter storm that killed up to half a million prions, then the Rena oil spill believed to have killed several… Read more »