Blue penguin population decline on the West Coast: is it caused by low breeding success?

Editor’s note: this is an additional summary and commentary on the West Coast blue penguin story that was reported on last week by Wawrick Allen. This blog post was written by postgraduate student Sara Bauer as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). Photo by Kerry-Jane Wilson,Lincoln…

The long subantarctic commute

Although New Zealand has a huge selection of seabirds, and is the centre of diversity for many groups, we are still in a very early stage in understanding the behaviour and ecology of these species (see the recent ecoLincNZ blog post by Jessica Parisi). Mostly this is understandable. Seabirds usually…

The World’s Smallest (& Cutest) Penguin

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Warwick Allen as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). Little blue penguins (Eudyptula minor) are the smallest penguins in the world and are found throughout New Zealand and southern Australia. They are exceptionally cute and cuddly and attract…

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I’ve been to Evolution 2009

Well the meeting is done. The talk is given. The t-shirt is purchased. I’m mooching about Moscow, Idaho ahead of my long flight back to New Zealand tomorrow. 1200 evolutionary biologists, mainly from the States, gathered here at the University of Idaho over the last week to discuss all things…

New Zealand Seeking: Seabird Enthusiasts

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Jessica Parisi as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). Pitt island shagPhoto by Kerry-Jayne Wilson,Lincoln University. There are over 80 breeding species of seabirds in the New Zealand region and one of them, the Pitt island shag (left),…

Measuring the productivity of threatened-species programmes

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Benard Ochieng as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). TuataraOriginally uploaded by beedieu Out of the 7–20 million species believed to be on the planet, a loss ranging between 140,000– 5 million is projected over the next 25…

Flower power and its effects on the biocontrol activity of an omnivorous insect

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Marlene Leggett as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). Omnivorous insects are interesting and important beings, consuming both plant and animal matter. In agroecosystems they have been identified as potential biological control agents since they eat pest insects….

Is Rangatira Island’s status as a wildlife sanctuary threatened by burrowing seabirds?

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Ian Phillips as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). Rangatira Island, part of the Chatham Islands group situated off the east coast of New Zealand, is a conservation priority in New Zealand due to its importance as a…

Moscow bound!

Yes I am off to Moscow. Idaho! The annual Evolution conference is being held there this year. The conference is always a great event for members of the societies that produce the journals Systematic Biology, Evolution and American Naturalist. Usually there is a great New Zealand turn-out (indeed NZ was…

Will nature sort itself out?

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Phil Cochrane as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). “At worst, the current practice of founding new populations of endangered species with such small numbers of founders may be inducing widespread reproductive failure and hastening their extinction.” Briskie…