29 Jan 2014

GPS tracking sea birds on Ohinau Island

10:24 am on 29 January 2014

GPS devices have been fitted to seabirds nesting on an island off the Coromandel Peninsula as part of a project to track their movements at sea and find out what impact fishing is having on their numbers.

The project is being led by Te Papa and is being funded by the Department of Conservation.

A group of scientists and volunteers have been based at Ohinau Island since mid-January.

Te Papa senior curator Susan Waugh said they have been studying the flesh-footed shearwater population for about three years to see whether it's changing over time.

She said there's a management requirement to understand where the seabirds go because they are one of the species most affected by commercial and recreational fisheries by-catch.

The work on Ohinau Island is scheduled to continue until the end of February.