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The effect of investigator disturbance on egg laying, chick survival and fledging mass of short-tailed shearwaters (Puffinus tenuirostris) and little penguins (Eudyptula minor)

Citation

Vertigan, C and McMahon, CR and Andrews-Goff, V and Hindell, MA, The effect of investigator disturbance on egg laying, chick survival and fledging mass of short-tailed shearwaters (Puffinus tenuirostris) and little penguins (Eudyptula minor), Animal Welfare, 21, (1) pp. 101-111. ISSN 0962-7286 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare

Official URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ufaw/aw/2012...

DOI: doi:10.7120/096272812799129493

Abstract

Field-based animal researchers need to balance the potential adverse effects of their research activities against the benefits of research outcomes, but the data required to do this are often lacking. Assessing, and subsequently reporting the effects of researcher activities on wild animal populations can be difficult, so that studies to detect these effects sometimes lack rigour or fail to encompass sufficient time to ensure that the effects are tested under a range of environmental stresses. We monitored the effect of investigators working in colonies of two seabirds, the short-tailed shearwater (Puffinus tenuirostris) and the little penguin (Eudyptula minor). Disturbance of breeding birds while checking nests or the weighing of chicks to monitor growth are very common activities for demographic and ecological studies, but how these activities may influence the birds is rarely measured. We investigated differing levels of disturbance during both activities between 2002-03 and 2008-09 to assess their effect on egg laying, chick survival and growth rate and observed no effect for nest checking or handling of short-tailed shearwaters and indeterminate effects for handling in little penguins. Over a period of several years the study has observed a large-scale decline in the number of breeding shearwaters and includes years when control nests had above and below average breeding success.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:animal welfare, Eudyptula minor, investigator disturbance, little penguin, Puffinus tenuirostris, short-tailed shearwater
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Author:Vertigan, C (Ms Caitlin Vertigan)
Author:McMahon, CR (Dr Clive McMahon)
Author:Andrews-Goff, V (Ms Virginia Andrews-Goff)
Author:Hindell, MA (Professor Mark Hindell)
ID Code:83622
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2013-03-19
Last Modified:2013-07-23
Downloads:0

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