Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
Muttonbirds have, up to now, been known as the most prolific seabird in the Southern Hemisphere. However, eight consecutive years of field research on Wedge Island on the Tasman Peninsula has shown a 66% decline in their breeding population.

The sight of Muttonbirds (short-tailed shearwaters) coming to land at their burrows during the summer months is one of the most spectacular natural events seen in Tasmania. Initially, the decline in their pouplation was thought to be a localised occurrence, however analysis of populations around Tasmania by Dr Caitlin Vertigan show that similar trends are occurring throughout the population as a whole.

Caitlin will discuss possible mechanisms for the decline as well as global implications of this significant change. Dr Vertigan Caitlin completed her PhD studying the population trends of short?tailed shearwaters and little penguins at the University of Tasmania in April of 2010.

She currently works as a ghost tour guide and day guide at Port Arthur Historic Site after a brief stint at Phillip Island Nature Park as a research assistant working with Little Penguins.

Port Arthur Talks
The Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority presents this semi-regular series of talks by authoritative speakers on a variety of topics, ranging from history and conservation to environmental issues, research results, study tours and much more.

The talks are held every couple of months at the Port Arthur Historic Site, are free of charge and open to anyone who is interested in the topic. Rich and varied subjects and speakers make for fascinating listening and discussion.

What is happening to Tasmania’s shearwaters, presented by Dr Caitlin Vertigan
Thursday 24 February, 2011 at 5.30 p.m.
Junior Medical Officer’s Conference Room,
Port Arthur Historic Site
For more information call +61 (0)3 6251 2324

More details about the Port Arthur Talks program

Contact Profile

The Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority

The World Heritage listed Port Arthur Historic Site, located in the south-east of Tasmania on the Tasman Peninsula around a 90-minute drive from Hobart, is one of the most important cultural heritage sites in Australia and the world. It offers extraordinary experiences and activities related to our convict heritage.
Andrew Ross
P: +61 3 6251 2300
M: 0419 120 058


tasman peninsula, port arthur, muttonbird, shearwater, science, nature, environment, heritage values, conservation



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