2015 - 2016 Progress report
The Gannet Colony Monitoring Project has come a long way since it began in 2011; in fact the study has reached the fantastic milestone of five years running, as of this year (2015). Over that time, the original sample size on the southern point of the colony has grown from 67 to over 150 nests while under the direction of seabird expert and trust member Todd Landers. The project has also proved to be highly informative, with last year’s data showing that 75% of nests had fledged chicks. However one of the greatest advantages of monitoring the gannets is that they are directly affected by the marine environment, meaning their success as a species is an excellent way to gauge the current status of the coastal environment here at Muriwai and further afield.
We are always looking for new volunteers living in Muriwai to join the monitoring project as further data collection will allow for a much better understanding of the future of the colony. Getting more volunteers would also be an exciting opportunity to expand the study and gather data from other parts of the colony, such as those on the northern cliff.
If you are interested in being part of this community project, you can contact Todd Landers, the leader of the study, at Todd.Landers@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz
2011-2012 Wrap Up...
Firstly a big Thank you to everyone who took part in our Gannet Monitoring pilot study. We sent the data to Gabriel last week for him to make some sense of it.
From the end of August 2011 til April 2012 we completed 35 weeks of (almost) continuous weekly monitoring. There were only eight (including Ron who did one week then returned home to Canada!) doing the hard work so there was a bit of pressure on from time to time. I appreciate how there was always someone ready to rise to the occasion. Only one week we slipped up when I failed to follow up the communications. Some weeks there in dreadful weather it was hard work and we saw a lot of dedication from our team.
Lets hope that Gabriel comes up with some interesting insights. Whatever the outcome I know that I learnt a lot from the frequent visits to the colony and actually taking the time to observe the gannets and I know most of you felt the same. We are still keeping an eye on 7B, the last on our watch. I think s/he was there today with eight other juveniles, they are the last to go.
Where to from here? As we all know this was a "pilot study" and we will see what insights Gabriel comes up with and from there we can decide if we pick it up again next breeding season.
Gannet Monitoring Coordinator
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