Burrow occupancy and related behaviour of broad-billed prions Pachyptila vittata on South East (Rangatira) Island, Chatham Islands, New Zealand

Burrow competition is occurring between broad-billed prions (Pachyptila vittata) and other small burrowing seabirds on South East (Rangatira) Island, Chatham Islands, New Zealand. This competition has a negative impact on the endangered Chatham petrel (Pterodroma axillaris) population. Seventy seven broad-billed prion burrows were monitored nightly during the breeding season in 1996 and the non-breeding season in 1997 to determine burrow use patterns. From the total 246 broad-billed prions that were recorded in the non-breeding season 83% were returning breeders. Up to 10 broad-billed prions made use of individual burrows in the nonbreeding season. Some movement of established breeding broad-billed prions between burrows in the nonbreeding season occurred. Behavioural observations during the non breeding season showed that broad-billed prions defended their burrow from others, spent time prospecting for burrows, pair bonded and attempted to establish ownership of burrows. Potential management strategies for broad billed prions are discussed.
Source DOI
Creative Commons Rights
Access Rights