Muttonbirds the topic of next Port Arthur Talk

February 21, 2011

Muttonbirds have, up to now, been known as the most prolific seabird in the Southern Hemisphere. However, eight consecutive years of field research on Wedge Island on the Tasman Peninsula has shown a 66% decline in their breeding population.

The sight of Muttonbirds (short-tailed shearwaters) coming to land at their burrows during the summer months is one of the most spectacular natural events seen in Tasmania. Initially, the decline in their pouplation was thought to be a localised occurrence, however analysis of populations around Tasmania by Dr Caitlin Vertigan show that similar trends are occurring throughout the population as a whole.

Caitlin will discuss possible mechanisms for the decline as well as global implications of this significant change. Dr Caitlin Vertigan completed her PhD studying the population trends of short-tailed shearwaters and little penguins at the University of Tasmania in April of 2010.

She currently works as a ghost tour guide and day guide at Port Arthur Historic Site after a brief stint at Phillip Island Nature Park as a research assistant working with Little Penguins.

What is happening to Tasmania’s shearwaters? presented by Dr Caitlin Vertigan

Thursday 24 February, 2011 at 5.30 p.m.
Junior Medical Officer’s Conference Room,
Port Arthur Historic Site
For more information call 6251 2324