|Scientific Name:||Phalacrocorax featherstoni|
|Species Authority:||Buller, 1873|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Endangered C1 ver 3.1|
|Reviewer/s:||Butchart, S. & Symes, A.|
|Contributor/s:||Bell, B., Bester, A., Hitchmough, R. & Weeber, B.|
This species is listed as Endangered because it has a very small population which has declined moderately rapidly over the last two generations (18 years), a decline which is predicted to continue given current threats.
|Range Description:||Phalacrocorax featherstoni is found in the Chatham Islands, New Zealand, on Chatham, Pitt, Mangere, Little Mangere, South East (= Rangatira), Star Keys, the Pyramid, Big and Middle Sister, Murumurus, the Castle and Rabbit Islands (Marchant and Higgins 1990, Imber 1994, Taylor 2000). The population has been variously estimated at c.500 pairs, fewer than 1,000 pairs (Heather and Robertson 1997) and in 1997-1998, at 729 pairs, following a complete census over the entire breeding range (Bell and Bell 2000). However, new information suggests that the population has declined by 25% over six years from 1997 to 2003, with 547 pairs counted in the second complete census over the 2003-2004 breeding season (Bester and Charteris 2005). The species's foraging range is assumed to be up to 24 km offshore (cf. New Zealand King Shag P. carunculatus).|
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||A total of 547 pairs (=1,094 mature individuals; 1,400 estimated total individuals) were counted in the second complete census over the 2003-2004 breeding season.|
|Habitat and Ecology:||It nests in small colonies of between five and 20 pairs, on rocky shores and islets, headlands and cliffs. Breeding distribution is limited by suitable nesting sites (Marchant and Higgins 1990). It feeds primarily on small fish, supplemented by marine invertebrates (Heather and Robertson 1997).|
|Major Threat(s):||The effects of introduced species on Chatham and Pitt Islands are not known, with birds tending to nest in inaccessible sites. Some nests, however, could be affected by stock, feral cats, pigs, dogs, black rats Rattus rattus, brown rats R. norvegicus and Weka Gallirallus australis (Taylor 2000). Birds are sometimes illegally shot by fishermen (Heather and Robertson 1997, Taylor 2000). A total of 40-80 birds may be caught in crayfish pots annually (Bell and Bell 2000). Recent declines may be a response to changes in the marine environment that are affecting food supplies (Bester and Charteris 2005). The species is potentially threatened by climate change because it has a geographically bounded distribution: it is restricted to an island or islands with a maximum altitude of 283 m (Birdlife International unpublished data).|
Conservation Actions Underway
In 1961, sheep and cattle were removed from South East Island and, in 1968, sheep were taken off Mangere Island (Taylor 2000). Conservation Actions Proposed
Census the entire adult population once a suitable methodology has been developed, and at 10-year intervals thereafter, and monitor two accessible colonies annually to determine trends (Taylor 2000). Assess the impact of rock lobster fishing practices (B. Weeber in litt. 2000). Remove feral cats and G. australis from Pitt Island if agreement is reached with residents, and remove sheep, cattle and pigs from parts of Pitt and Chatham Islands that are suitable for colonies. Fence colonies (with owners' permission) if stock are found to be impacting on colonies (Taylor 2000).
Bell, M.; Bell, D. 2000. Census of the three shag species in the Chatham Islands. Notornis 47: 148-153.
Bester, A.J.; Charteris, M. 2005. The second census of Chatham Island shag and Pitt Island shag - are numbers declining? Notornis 52: 6-10.
Heather, B. D.; Robertson, H. A. 1997. The field guide to the birds of New Zealand. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
Imber, M. 1994. Seabirds recorded at the Chatham Islands, 1960 to May 1993. Notornis 41(Supplement): 97-108.
IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 19 June 2012).
Marchant, S.; Higgins, P. J. 1990. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic birds, 1: ratites to ducks. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
Taylor, G. A. 2000. Action plan for seabird conservation in New Zealand. Department of Conservation, Wellington.
|Citation:||BirdLife International 2012. Phalacrocorax featherstoni. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 May 2013.|
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