February 2022
This report covers DOC-funded research on the nationally endangered king shag (Leucocarbo carunculatus), a rare diving seabird endemic to the Marlborough Sounds.


This project was carried out to support a programme of work coordinated by the King Shag Working Group, a partnership between central and regional government, the marine farming industry and iwi. Remote fixed camera technology and image analysis was used to record data on king shag breeding, colony disturbances and other threats, and to gather observations on marked individuals.

Data from over 4,000 quality images captured on 10 field cameras on various king shag breeding colonies in 2018 and 2019, covers from early nest-building in the late summer/autumn to juvenile disappearance in spring, as well as bird movements through the off-season. The wealth of new biological data about king shags collected during this study will help inform the status and trends in this species and identify the major onshore threats at the colonies.

Publication information

Gummer, H. 2021. Breeding biology of King shags from analysis of field camera images. Unpublished report for Marine Species Team, Biodiversity Group, Department of Conservation, Wellington. 54 p. 


Conservation Services Programme
Department of Conservation
PO Box 10-420
Wellington 6143


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