CBB Seminar POSTPONED: Conserving Darwin’s muse: an updated population size for the critically endangered Floreana Mockingbird in the Galapagos Islands Event as iCalendar


18 April 2013

18 - 18pm

Venue: Tāmaki Campus, University of Auckland, Blg 733 Rm 201

Host: Centre for Biodiversity and Biosecurity

Luis Ortiz-Catedral

Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University

Luis Ortiz-Catedral is, unfortunately, ill and unable to speak this afternoon. The Seminar will be re-scheduled.

Apologies for any inconvenience……


The Floreana Mockingbird has been labelled “the most important bird in the history of science” as it represents a crucial piece in Darwin’s early ideas about evolution, common ancestry and island endemism. Formerly widespread in one of the oldest major islands of the Galapagos Islands, it now survives on two offshore islets that represent less than 1% of its former distribution: Champion and Gardner Islets. Starting in 2006 a mark-recapture study begun aimed at estimating the population size on both islets as well as the survival of adult mockingbirds. Such studies are part of the preliminary work for a translocation of Floreana Mockingbirds back to Floreana Island. Population estimates showed a fluctuation of 20 to 63 on Champion islet from 2006 to 2012 on and of 111 to 496 on Gardner Islet during the same period. Preliminary analyses reveal that adult survival is high with an overall 77.53% on both islets. The significance of these results is discussed in the context of species-driven conservation in the Galapagos Islands.

Luis Ortiz-Catedral is a postdoctoral fellow at Massey University. His current research and teaching focus on management of threatened island avifaunas. Previously, Luis worked as Head of the Ecological Restoration Group of the Charles Darwin Foundation in the Galapagos Islands. His research on the taxonomy of Mexican monocots and the ecology and management of New Zealand parakeets has been published in 28 scientific papers

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Catching the shuttle to the Tāmaki Campus