This week at Macca, a big station update for the final station news of 2017!

Station update

Summer season at Macca is in full-swing and it’s proving to be a very busy and enjoyable time for everyone on station.

Summer science

We currently have four science project teams active on the island.

Our remediation project team are based on station and have been busy with toxicity testing of local marine invertebrates and decommissioning remediation sites across the isthmus.

Our other three science teams have been heavily focused on important field work across the island.

Our albatross and giant petrel research team have been continuing with their regular albatross nest chicks and observations at Hurd Point, whilst our post eradication response project team have worked from Bauer Bay to Hurd Point completing burrowing petrel site set-ups, identifying skua study nest sites, and undertaking skua GPS deployments.

Our fourth science team, the Azorella research project, have been busy retrieving azorella data loggers and undertaking condition and soil assessments across the island.

As always, our field science programs are ably supported by a range of station based expeditioners, who undertake important plumbing, carpentry, electrical, medical, stores, weather observations, and catering work to ensure the station continues to run smoothly!

Tourist ships

This week, we welcomed the third tourist ship visit of the season. Guided by our Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Rangers, along with some volunteer guides from the station community, 48 passengers and staff from the Akademik Shokalaskly enjoyed a day visit to Sandy Bay followed by a tour of the station. This season, Macca will welcome a total of eight tourist ships through to mid-February 2018.

Wildlife

As featured in recent station news updates, the bird, seal, and penguin wildlife at Macca continues to amaze. In recent times, we have been fortunate to observe numerous orca’s up close. Our station photographer Lionel has captured some amazing shots of the orca’s close to the shore whilst searching for prey.

Social

In between busy work commitments, our summer station community have enjoyed some excellent social events. This has included celebrating a December birthday, a trivia night, and celebrating a special graduation. Dr. Julie McInnes, a summer researcher on the post eradication project, recently received her Doctorate from the University of Tasmania for her important research on the use of non-invasive DNA methodologies to assess albatross diet.

Christmas

Finally, we are all excited to celebrate a Macquarie Island Christmas! The decorations and tree have gone up, letters to Santa have been sent, and many expeditioners are feverishly working on various ‘kris kringle’ inspired gifts.

On behalf of the Macquarie Island team, I’d like to wish everyone back in Australia, especially our friends and family, a very Merry Christmas and a safe New Year!

Kyle (Station Leader)

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