New Zealand Journal of Ecology (2008) 32(1): 34- 40

Recovery of a sooty shearwater (Puffinus griseus) breeding area after habitat destruction

Research Article
Sam McKechnie 1,3
Henrik Moller 1
Corey Bragg 1
Jamie Newman 1
Darren S. Scott 1
Justine B. Cruz 2
  1. Department of Zoology, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
  2. 5 Osgood Avenue, New Britain, Connecticut 06053, USA
*  Corresponding author

We describe the recovery of an 88-m² area of sooty shearwater breeding habitat on Northeast Island, The Snares, New Zealand, during the eight breeding seasons after it was completely destroyed by excavation in December 1996. Burrow entrance density did not differ between the destroyed site and three comparison sites one year after the event. We detected breeding attempts of shearwaters in the season following disturbance, but burrow occupant density recovered more slowly, perhaps because the overall population density was declining over the same period. Burrow occupant density did not differ between the destroyed site and comparison sites within five breeding seasons of disturbance.