Archive for June, 2007

Auckland Island Pigs

Thursday, June 21st, 2007
Sirtrack supplied new technology GPS/Argos collar and harness mount transmitters to DOC (Department of Conservation, New Zealand) for tracking feral pigs on the Auckland Islands. Unfortunately these failed to operate correctly despite the fact that almost identical technology is still functioning fine on other species elsewhere. I was nominated to travel down to the Auckland Islands with DOC to ensure that the replacement transmitters were correctly configured and tested before deployment, assist in the catching and attachment and to help recover as many as possible of the malfunctioning units.


We sailed from Bluff on the Clan McLeod …


… a thirty hour passage. We arrived just after dark with no idea if the helicopter had managed to fly down that day or not.

As it happened the helicopter had arrived, so it lifted our gear and the drums of helicopter fuel to our land base on Enderby Island.


Our accommodation was the sea lion research station, normally only used between November and February – very comfortable.
There were possibly as many as a hundred southern right whales breeding in Port Ross, the sheltered inlet at the Northeast corner of the archipelago.


Lots of shy mollymauks flying around. Big birds! Very majestic.


One of the largest breeding colonies of yellow-eyed penguins is on Enderby Island with no cats or pigs to bother them. Here’s a picture of a penguin flying – sort of.


More to come…

ErikBlood@xe new blog

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Blogging newbie. This continues where left off.