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 The Snares Project continues!    Sunday, 29. June 2003, Dunedin   
Cactusdiving or to hunt for penguin chicks in Chile

The regular visitor may have noticed... after the rather limited outcome of the 2002 Snares Epxedition it became remarkably silent on Eudyptes.net. One of the main reasons for that was the fact, that I didn't hesitate long after we got back from the subantarctic and boarded a plane and flew across the Pacific to Chile. There I joined forces with Ursel Ellenberg and Guillermo Luna-Jorquera and worked for a few months on Humboldt penguins. In contrast to the Snares, we collected an incredible set of good data, and sucessfully campaigned against the construction of a hotel in the middle of a protected penguin reserve (see http://arenaph.penguinpage.net). Although working with penguins that like to nest in dense catci aggregations in the Atacama desert has some catches (or should I rather call it spines?) it was great to do the work... but I think I drift away from the Snares stuff. Anyway, I hope at some stage I'll find the time to present our Chile adventures to the net community.

Well... what has happened with new plans for the Snares during the whole time. Not a lot. After our return to New Zealand Ursula and I learned that the slow wheels of bureaucracy started turning again and that first negociations re: Snares were about to start. All I could do was to accept my fate and start the final analysis of my Snares stomach samples which were still waiting in our freezer. So far everything looks really good - at least if it comes to the Snares. Despite all the political problems and struggles we had with the Department of Conservation (DoC) last year to get the permission to work on the Snares, it seems as if any of the problems DoC had with our work are non-existent this year. In fact, DoC is even forthcoming which actually came as bit of a surprise to me.

Now we sit and wait, what happens next. Our timeframe for the Snares is the period from 6. October 2003 to 20. November 2003. That's six work on the Snares to try to make up for the data we didn't get last year. And maybe a bit more.

Anyway, I want to say sorry in advance as I think that I won't find a lot of time I can dedicate to updating the Eudyptes.net webpages. But I'm just too busy with data analysis, proposal and application writing (for DoC), paper work, proposal and application writing (for DoC), report writing, proposal and application writing (for DoC), and so on and so forth... But I think the closer our Snares departure date gets the higher the likelihood that excited typing starts to appear again. So be patient....

 Field Diary 2002
12/11/02
The sealions of the Snares Islands
10/11/02
Storm, TDR disappointments, stomach sampling
27/10/02
Disappointment: GPS Loggers don't work
19/10/02
Waiting for the male's return, colony life of the females
14/10/02
Exodus of the males,
1st logger deployment
10/10/02
Journey to the Snares, first impressions, fieldwork