From albatrosses to auroras: the latest travels of Macquarie Island’s albatross and giant petrel project researchers Jarrod and Kate.

From albatrosses to auroras: the latest travels of Jarrod and Kate

One of the summer science projects underway at Macca is the albatross and giant petrel project: status and trends of endangered seabirds, run by Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Wildlife and Environment. The research is conducted by seabird ecologists Kate and Jarrod, who have tirelessly tramped the length and breadth of the island all summer to visit the nesting sites of their project subjects, often located on steep coastal slopes.

Kate and Jarrod share some of their experiences:

On our most recent field trip we finished our final nest checks in our albatross study sites, were treated to an aurora at Hurd Point, and even saw a chinstrap penguin (very rare on Macca). The grey-headed, black-browed and light-mantled albatross chicks are starting to lose their down and will fledge around April-May. The wandering albatross chicks have recently hatched and will be provisioned by their parents through winter in preparation for fledging early next year. We are still crunching numbers, but thought we’d share some final shots of the birds that have kept us so busy throughout the season here on Macca. 

Macca photo album

Last week we put our station fire team through a final fire team training session in preparation for our station resupply activities due to commence on Friday this week. We simulated a helicopter fire on the helipad at the machinery shed, and our fire team had hoses and simulated foam onto the helipad in excellent time.