T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Shag (Auckland Island) Leucocarbo colensoi

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Suliformes
Family: Phalacrocoracidae
Genus: Leucocarbo
Species: L. colensoi
Binomial name: Leucocarbo colensoi
Synonyms: Phalacrocorax colensoi
Common name: Auckland Islands shag, Auckland shag, Auckland Island cormorant

Leucocarbo colensoi is a species of cormorant native to New Zealand. The species is endemic to the Auckland Islands archipelago there where it frequents harbours, inlets and bays. It is the only resident shag.
Leucocarbo colensoi is >63 cm tall and has a wingspan of >105 cm. The adult’s head and upperparts are black with a metallic blue sheen. The underparts are white from chin to undertail coverts. The legs and feet are a pale pink.
During breeding season adults have a tall, black, recurved head crest curling up from the forehead, magenta-pink eye ring, red facial skin, and a red throat pouch. It is a sedentary bird that primarily eats various crustaceans and fish. The Auckland shag is a colonial nester, building sizeable nests of, among other items, grass, twigs and seaweed. The Auckland shag lays three pale blue-green eggs in November–February. The incubation period is 26–32 days.
The Auckland shag is considered vulnerable by the IUCN due to its small population size and restricted global range. Only around 2000 Auckland shags exist in their remote habitat.

 

A colony of breeding Leucocarbo colensoi on Enderby Island, Auckland Islands, Subantarctic. They are in their breeding colours. 
Photo courtesy of Tamzin Henderson @ https://www.tamzinnz.com/

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/