Technical Report #163. Swift, Roberta and Evana Burt-Toland. February 2009. Surveys of procellariiform seabirds at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, 2001-2005

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ABSTRACT:

This report combines data for procellariiform seabird colony searches conducted in 2005, sporadic surveys for procellariiformes between 2001 and 2005, as well as seabird radar surveys conducted in 2002 at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The objectives of these surveys were to inventory procellariiform species diversity and identify seabird flight corridors and breeding seabird colony sites within park boundaries. Specifically, goals were to locate nesting colonies of Newell’s Shearwater (Puffinus auricularis newelli) which is listed as threatened by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Band-rumped Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma castro), a candidate species for listing. Radar surveys were intended to provide information to assist in targeted foot searches for seabird colonies. Reports and results of radar surveys are summarized, but no new radar surveys were conducted in 2005. We performed nighttime and daytime auditory and visual surveys at a variety of locations and a range of elevations within Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park to document Newell’s Shearwater and Band-rumped Storm-Petrel activity. Data from nighttime auditory surveys and incidental reports collected in previous years are also summarized. Seabirds recorded at high elevations included Hawaiian Petrels (Pterodroma sandwichensis), federally listed as endangered, and Band-rumped Storm. We identified one possible Band-rumped Storm-Petrel nest location, but only continued monitoring will confirm nesting. We did not detect any Newell’s Shearwaters at mid-elevation sites. However, based on incidental reports of Newell’s Shearwaters calling repeatedly near the trailhead of the Kalapana trail, the rain forest remaining in the East Rift Zone is likely to be the one location at which this species continues to nest at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. We also documented Newell’s Shearwaters at a coastal location, but the birds were most likely prospecting for or transitting to nesting sites.

Title page, table of contents, list of tables and figures

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Abstract and introduction

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Methods and results

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Discussion, recommendations and acknowledgements

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Literature cited

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