Determining the breeding phenology of Southern Giant Petrels on the Frazier Islands, East Antarctica, through automatic camera monitoring in 2011-15
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
The Southern Giant Petrel, Macronectes giganteus, is a sibling species with the Northern Giant Petrel, Macronectes halli, which were first separated and distinguished in 1966. Colonies are present on ten oceanic islands, six islands off South America, 4 locations in East Antarctica and numerous sites around the Antarctic Peninsula. Few studies have looked at the breeding phenology of Southern Giant Petrels on the Frazier Islands. Due to concerns relating to human disturbance, noninvasive monitoring using automated cameras was conducted from 2011-2015. This report is part of a preliminary study designed to monitor the ongoing population on the Frazier Islands and establish/understand key breeding parameters. The arrival of the first adults to the colony, incubation and brooding period were determined as well as estimates of hatching date, guard period and fledging time. With continued research, by the use of the automated cameras, further insights will be gained on the Southern Giant Petrel Colony not only on the Frazier Islands, but also at other locations.