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Whenua Hou Diving Petrel (Pelecanoides whenuahouensis)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 192520234

Integrative conservation of the Whenua Hou Diving Petrel: Rescuing one of New Zealand’s rarest seabirds from extinction

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 192520234) - Whenua Hou Diving Petrel - Awarded $6,000 on May 26, 2019

The Critically Endangered Whenua Hou Diving Petrel (WHDP) is in dire need of conservation management. While certain threats have been identified, conservation measures are yet to be applied and trial-and-error conservation is ill-advised. Therefore, to rescue the WHDP from extinction, two objectives will need to be achieved in 2019/20:

1. Quantification of WHDP population dynamics. Specifically, I aim to I) monitor > 66% of all WHDP nests to assess fecundity, fertility, egg survival, and chick survival, II) recapture > 90% (banded) returning fledglings to assess juvenile survival, III) (re)capture > 90% of the (banded) adult population to assess adult survival, and IV) genetically sex > 50% of the 2019/20 cohort to assess sex ratios.

2. Construction of a population model to identify suitable conservation measures. Specifically, I aim to I) construct an integrated population model (IPM), which fuses count and demographic data into a single Bayesian modelling framework, and II) use this IPM to simulate the success of conservation measures (i.e., their potential in increasing the WHDP population trend).

Only after these two objectives have been achieved, will it be possible to apply conservation measures, and rescue the WHDP from extinction, and consequently restore ecosystem services provided by this species.

Project 192520234 location - New Zealand, Oceania