Accoustic Attraction: Calling All Seabirds

New conservation efforts in Australia are using recordings to bring seabirds back to a predator free island that is now safe for nesting.

On islands throughout the world, seabird nesting sites have been infiltrated by invasive feral cats, foxes, rats, and rabbits because of human transportation. Invasive predators have the potential to interfere with seabird reproduction and can even deter seabirds from nesting on their usual islands.

On Broughton Island, Australian conservationists have successfully removed invasive predators, thereby restoring safety in the seabird nesting habitat. But now that seabirds have learned to stay away from this formerly dangerous nesting site, how can they be convinced to come back?


Broughton Island, located about eight nautical miles northeast of Port Stephens, is part of the Myall Lakes National Park. Credit: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

Conservationists are trying out a new idea to attract White-faced Storm Petrels and Gould’s Petrels to the restored island. Rangers are using speakers that play specific bird calls that are expected to catch seabirds’ attention. Australia National Park and Wildlife Services Ranger Susanne Callaghan said:

We know the birds are nesting nearby. We’ve got confirmed records of Gould’s Petrel on Broughton Island, and we’ve got confirmed records of White-faced Storm Petrels nearby.


Since the 1990s scientists have worked to restore Gould’s petrel populations around Port Stephens. Credit: Allan Richardson

Conservationists are hopeful that the project will attract the Gould’s Petrel and White-faced Storm Petrel to the islands.

Featured Photo: A Wedge-tailed Shearwater. Credit: Jim McLean
Source: ABC

About Emily Heber

Emily is a recent graduate from UC Santa Barbara with a BS in Zoology. As a student, she discovered that she had a passion for the conservation of endangered species and their ecosystems. Her background in informal education has allowed her the opportunity to share her passion for animals with others, something she seeks to continue doing while working with the communication team. In her spare time, Emily enjoys exploring the amazing hiking trails found in Santa Cruz and tries to SCUBA dive whenever possible. Emily is excited to join the Island Conservation team and to help share the amazing work that is being done here.

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