Seabird Islands of the Lord Howe Group, New South Wales

Seabirds are creatures of the open ocean. Only when breeding do they come ashore to lay eggs. As Lord Howe and its associated islets are the only island group in the Tasman Sea, very large numbers of seabirds breed here annually. Accounts of Lord Howe’s seabirds date back to its discovery in 1788 by sailors on the First Fleet ship Supply. Regular visits by naturalists and scientists since that time have documented the birdlife for over 200 hundred years. Some negative impacts have occurred, particularly arising from introduced animals. Cats, pigs and goats were deliberately released onto the Island, while rats and mice were accidental introductions. Many noted Australian ornithologists could not resist visiting Lord Howe Island, including Basset Hull, Etheridge, Hindwood, all of whom helped document some of the drastic changes to bird populations, including the extinction of a number of local species.

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