Broad-billed prion chick, Snares Island. Te Papa

Would you scramble into a ‘horrible hole’ to count bird chicks? How about counting the regurgitated remains of a meal? It’s all in a day’s work for Alan Tennyson, a Te Papa scientist studying broad-billed prions (pararā). Can you mimic a bird as well as Alan can mimic a prion?Read more

Alan Tennyson and Colin Miskelly studying fulmar prions. Toru Islet with main Snares Islands in background. 28 Nov 2013 Photographer Antony Kusabs, Te Papa

Take a glimpse of this remote corner of New Zealand, and follow Te Papa’s scientists as they go scrambling up rocks and cliffs to carry out their research. Three kilometres to the west of the main Snares Islands lies the isolated Western Chain group. They are rarely visited, and canRead more

Antony Kusabs, Collection Manaqger at the South Promontory sign post with Alert Stack and South-west promontory in background. Snares Islands, North East Isalnd. Image: Jean-Claude Stahl, Te Papa.

Te Papa scientists wanted to learn more about the plants on the Snares Islands, which have rarely been studied because the islands are so remote. The plants’ descriptive names tell us a lot about the species. There are tree daisies and Cook’s scurvy grass – and some species so littleRead more

Alan Tennyson and Colin Miskelly taking a blood sample from a fulmar prion. Toru Islet with main Snares Islands in background. 28 Nov 2013 Photographer Antony Kusabs ©Te Papa

The most abundant bird on the Snares Islands is the sooty shearwater (also known as the muttonbird or tītī). Four Te Papa scientists had the daunting task of counting over a million sooty shearwaters on the islands to determine the trends in their population. Watch the video to see howRead more

Snares crested penguins on the landing rocks in Station Cove. Image: Colin Miskelly: Te Papa

The wild and remote Snares Islands, 105km south-southwest of Stewart Island, are usually home only to a vast array of birds and sea life. In late 2013 the islands saw the arrival of four lucky Te Papa scientists to carry out a range of seabird and plant research projects. WatchRead more

One of our research goals on the Snares Islands was to collect non-vascular plants.  Non-vascular plants include mosses, liverworts and hornworts (collectively known as bryophytes) and lichens. Mosses have two main life stages – the gametophyte stage and sporophyte stage.  Both stages are visible in images on this post. The gametophyteRead more

Buller’s mollymawk landing (Snares Islands). Te Papa

At 2.00pm today, Tuesday 18th March, Te Papa scientists will be talking about their recent trip to the Snares Islands, and the wonderful wildlife they encountered.   Watch Science Live: Expedition Snares Island via YouTube – and don’t forget to ask your questions! We’ve already had some great questions fromRead more

A Te Papa team recently visited the Snares Islands Nature Reserve, 105 km south-southwest of Stewart Island, where they completed a range of seabird and plant research projects. Here, Antony Kusabs (Collection Manager Sciences) describes his first impressions of the Snares Islands, his first trip to a New Zealand Sub-Antarctic island group. WatchRead more

Recently some of our scientists carried out fieldwork on the Snares Islands,100 kilometres south of Stewart Island. They’ll be talking about their work live on Science Live: Expedition Snares Island, 18th March, 2.00pm. But why do Te Papa scientists care about the Snares Islands? What’s so special about them thatRead more

Four Te Papa staff members visited the Snares Islands Nature Reserve for a fortnight in late 2013, undertaking a variety of seabird and plant research projects (see previous blogs listed below). The Snares Islands are famous for their birdlife, and here vertebrates curator Colin Miskelly looks at some of theRead more

Alan Tennyson and Colin Miskelly taking a blood sample from a fulmar prion. Toru Islet with main Snares Islands in background. 28 Nov 2013 Photographer Antony Kusabs ©Te Papa

100 kilometres south of Stewart Island, a small group of rocky islands jut abruptly from the surface of the ocean. These islands, wreathed in sea spray and surrounded by large cliffs, are known as the Snares Islands, and for a fortnight were home to four Te Papa scientists. The SnaresRead more