Tristan da Cunha Conservation News
News and reports from the Tristan da Cunha Government's Conservation Department.

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Blue Belt talks at London Zoo

Event organised by the Marine Management Organisation
17-Jan-2019
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Rockhopper Watch

Report and photos from Shirley Squibb

Shirley's photos taken on
4th January 2019 from
Hottentot Beach show
Northern Rockhopper Penguins:

Above: on cliff ledges;

Right: on the beach.

Rockhoppers are likely to be seen
all over Tristan (including within the village)
when they come ashore to moult
at this time of year.

Shirley Squibb's photos
taken on 16th December 2018
show a single
Northern Rockhopper Penguin
on the black volcanic sand
at Runaway Beach,
situated below
the Patches Plain.

Rockhoppers have now
finished their breeding cycle,
with chicks fledged and out feeding at sea.Adults return to land to moult
(they lose buouyancy when moulting
so can't swim), starting with
immature adults like this example.Tristan has several penguin rookeries
around the east and south-east coasts,
containing an estimated 10,000 pairs in 2007.
Moulting adults can be found
anywhere, and are often seen
on beaches and inland
on the Settlement Plain,
sometimes within the village.

King Bird Chick Watch Latest

Photos from Dawn Repetto

(shown below in sequence they were taken)

Dawn Repetto's photographs show an adult Antarctic Tern or King Kird (local name)
on and by its nest on a patch wall in the Below the Hill area at the Potato Patches.
The two speckled eggs can be seen in the right hand photo.

Chicks hatched

Dawn returned to the nest on 31st December 2018 and took the three photos shown below

Dawn returns to take three further photographs the growing chicks on 6th January 2019 shown below

Adult with the two chicks - the right hand one developing typical juvinille plumage.
Chicks with adult guard
From the front chicks still have the 'fluffy' new born look awaiting a complete set of juvenille feathers.
Notice how well camouflaged the chicks are
against the background rocks and vegetation.
Nevertheless the eggs and chicks are vulnerable to predation
by rodents and Antarctic Skuas (Hen Birds).
The local Antarctic Terns or King Birds - Sterna vittata tristanensis - are endemic
to the the Tristan da Cunha islands and are commonly seen between September and May,
with some present all the year, others wintering off South Africa.
Numbers on Tristan, estimated at 50 pairs in 2007, may be increasing
as evidenced by nest sites like this one on the mainland.
Often King Birds breed on sea stacks, known locally as 'Hardies'.
Dawn hopes to re-visit the nest to photograph the chicks.

Seal Watch on Tristan beaches

Elephant and Fur Seal photographs .
10-Jan-2019
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First evidence of mouse attacks on Gough adult albatrosses

Paper published following 2018 fieldwork
9-Jan-2019
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Marine Science around Inaccessible Island

Tristan Fisheries Department work on 7th January 2019
8-Jan-2019
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Fur Seals at Pigbite

Photos of seals on Tristan boulder beach
20-Dec-2018
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JMC Week Highlights

Tristan at centre stage of Overseas Territories' big week
8-Dec-2018
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Chief Islander in London Day 4

Meetings with Lord Ahmad and conservation experts
7-Dec-2018
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