August 15, 2014 at 10:04 am
As of 31 July 2014, the Tawaki Proect has received its official stamp of approval by the New Zealand Department of Conservation – the research permits have been issued. This means that we will be able to start our work in the first (or second) week of September.
The pilot study will concentrate on the Fiordland penguins breeding at Jackson Head. Our research focus is on the deployment of GPS dive loggers to track the birds’ movements at sea and monitor their diving behaviour. We will also trial surveillance cameras at selected nest sites that will record time lapse videos that hopefully enable us to determine exact hatching dates, nest attendance patterns and, hence, foraging trip lenghts of adult penguins, and allow the monitoring of potential predator nest intrusions.
So much for the good news. Unfortunately, our problem finding accomodation around Jacksons Bay or at Haast still persists. This isn’t helped by the fact that our funding seems to get whittled down a bit more every day. Support funds that were calculated in have disappeared, donations have shrunk to fractions of what was initially announced. And our last hope of getting a couple of bunks at the DOC facilities in Haast has imploded as well. We will have to keep looking in the next few weeks.
But, heck, we made it this far… this will work out as well in the end.