Macquarie Island is brimming with many wonderful wildlife species, but monitoring shows that three of the four resident penguin species have been declining in recent years.
One of the possible contributors to declining populations is disease. In order to better understand the health status of the resident penguin and albatross populations on Macquarie Island, Parks and Wildlife rangers are undertaking disease screening this summer as part of their summer wildlife monitoring program.
With the gratefully received assistance of many Macca expeditioners, Parks rangers have been busy capturing and sampling individuals from gentoo, rockhopper and king penguin populations. Blood samples, swabs and parasite samples have been taken and stored, ready for analysis at the end of the season.
Sampling declining and threatened species will improve our understanding of the health status of resident wildlife populations, and contribute to overall Parks and Wildlife management of Macquarie Island’s many unique wildlife species.