Life as the ranger in charge on Macquarie Island is a pretty cool job. The views are stunning, station life is fun, the huts which are spread out across the island are more than comfortable and boast some of the most spectacular views ever to be seen and then there’s the wildlife. Richard Dakin, ranger in charge, writes about one of the many bird species on the island.
Everything you’ve been asking about the Grey Petrel, and more
The grey petrel breeds on cool temperate and sub-antarctic islands during the winter and is listed as endangered in Tasmanian State Legislation. Grey petrels were first reported breeding on Macquarie Island in 1900 however there was a long absence of any subsequent reported breeding evidence over the next eighty years.
In 1999, coinciding with the final stages of the successful cat eradication program, three new breeding burrows were discovered.
Since 1999, considerable effort has gone into identifying breeding locations around the Island and in 2011 there were over 150 active grey petrel burrows monitored. Parks rangers monitor nests using observations, calls, cameras and torches over the winter/spring to determine breeding success and new colonies around the island.
Richard also received an email from one of his colleagues from Tasmania this week with the news a ‘banded’ Grey-headed albatross (thalassarche chrysostoma) was found deceased on Kangaroo Island. The albatross band provided some interesting information :
The time between banding and recovery is 22 years 2 months 2 days. The bird had moved a distance of: 2650km with a bearing of 312 degrees.
Cause of death was unknown.