New Zealand sea lion monitoring was undertaken between 10 January and 21 January 2017 at Enderby Island, Dundas Island and Figure of Eight Island in the Auckland Islands group. A full description of methods are available in Childerhouse (2016), which is available from DOC and the author upon request. The research followed almost exactly the same methods as undertaken previously by DOC with a few differences outlined in the methodology part of the report. Overall, the project was a success and all objectives were completed.
Pup production was estimated for New Zealand sea lion colonies at Sandy Bay (n=349), Dundas Island (n=1,549), Figure of Eight Island (n=67) and South East Point (n=0); with total pup production for the Auckland Islands in 2016/17 estimated as 1965.
The estimate for 2016/17 is 14% higher than for 2015/16 and is 31% higher than the lowest ever estimate for pup production in 2008/09.
Seven hundred and seventy-five pups were marked at the Auckland Islands including: Sandy Bay – 328 flipper tagged and microchipped; Dundas Island – 400 flipper tagged only; and Figure of Eight Island – 47 flipper tagged only
There was only a small amount of resighting effort conducted as part of this project as there was no time allocated to it. Additional limited reisghting effort is being undertaken by DOC personnel remaining on Enderby Island
Overall, the project was a success and all objectives were completed.
Childerhouse, S., Burns, T., French, R., Michael, S. & Muller, C. 2017. Final Report for CSP Project New Zealand sea lion monitoring at the Auckland Islands 2016/17. Report prepared by Blue Planet Marine for the Conservation Services Programme, Department of Conservation, Wellington. 24 p.