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Retrofitting historical data in population studies: southern giant petrels in the Australian Antarctic Territory


Wienecke, B and Leaper, R and Hay, I and Van den Hoff, J, Retrofitting historical data in population studies: southern giant petrels in the Australian Antarctic Territory, Endangered Species Research , 8, (3) pp. 157-164. ISSN 1863-5407 (2009) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Inter-Research 2009

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DOI: doi:10.3354/esr00201


The determination of the conservation status for a species at risk of extinction is based largely upon consistent change in the population size. In long-lived species, such as seabirds, longterm monitoring is required to establish the extent of the natural variability in a population and to detect true change. As studies spanning several generations within the same population are rare, researchers may turn to historically collected census information to expand the time frame of their studies. While in principle a valid approach, several limitations need to be considered to use historical information appropriately. Census information, collated from the 1950s to the present, of 3 populations of southern giant petrels Macronectus giganteus in the Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT) is used to highlight potential limitations inherent in historical data. We demonstrate the importance of census time and count units when investigating potential changes in populations. Published accounts indicate that the numbers of southern giant petrels in the AAT have decreased significantly since their discovery and that more recently some recovery has taken place. However, for 2 of the 3 populations we could not find evidence supporting a change

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Historical data Population studies Southern giant petrels Australian Antarctic Territory
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Air quality, atmosphere and weather
Objective Field:Air quality
UTAS Author:Leaper, R (Dr Rebecca Leaper)
ID Code:60780
Year Published:2009
Deposited By:TAFI - Marine Research Laboratory
Deposited On:2010-02-18
Last Modified:2010-04-22

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