Human exploitation of the short-tailed shearwater (Pujfinus tenuirostris)

Skira, IJ 1990 , 'Human exploitation of the short-tailed shearwater (Pujfinus tenuirostris)' , Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, vol. 124, no. 1 , pp. 77-90 , doi: https://doi.org/10.26749/rstpp.124.1.77.

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The short-tailed shearwater or Tasmanian muttonbird Puffinus tenuirostris (Temminck, 1835) breeds mainly in Tasmania, particularly on Bass Strait islands. In Tasmania it is a partly protected species, subject to annual open seasons.
Aboriginal exploitation of this species is shown by small amounts of material in several archaeological sites in Tasmania and the Australian mainland; such use was limited by seasonal, technological and cultural choice. Present-day Aboriginal Tasmanians view the muttonbirding industry as one of their major social and economic activities.
On the decline of the seal industry established by Europeans in Bass Strait, some sealers settled on the islands hunting game. Farming and collecting shearwaters for their livelihood. Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, muttonbirding was the mainstay of the local economy, but in the last 60 years the industry has declined considerably, the annual catch falling from one million to about 300 000 chicks.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Skira, IJ
Keywords: Royal Society of Tasmania, RST, Van Diemens Land, natural history, science, ecology, taxonomy, botany, zoology, geology, geography, papers & proceedings, Australia, UTAS Library
Journal or Publication Title: Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
ISSN: 0080-4703
DOI / ID Number: https://doi.org/10.26749/rstpp.124.1.77
Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
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