Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tawaki Project entering its 3rd field season

After a successful pilot study in 2014, GPS tracking of breeding Fiordland penguins/tawaki during the strong el Nino of the 2015/16 season has revealed remarkable differences in foraging behaviour and breeding success between penguins from Jackson Head and Milford Sound. While the West Coast birds travelled hundreds of kilometers in search for prey for their chicks, their Fiordland counterparts did not even have to leave the fiord to sustain their offspring. Adding Codfish Island as third study site this season, the Tawaki Project will examine the penguins’ foraging ranges and diving behaviour in the wake of El Niño across their entire breeding range. Read more about this project, which is supported by the Birds New Zealand Research Fund here.