Weddell Seal Programme: To tag all seal pups and selected adults. To trace movements and fidelity of seals from resightings of previously tagged animals, P Lawrey’s project work involved a collection if fingernails from known age animals with a view to correlating growth rings in nails to age. Teeth and nails of dead animals were collected to further aid this work. The study also involved the aggressive behaviour in the seals. Lawrey hoped to relate aggressive behaviour to man’s influence.
Tardigrada Study at Victoria Land and Ross Island: from 10th November to 14th December 1970, a collection of lichens, mosses, and green algae was made in order to study the associated invertebrate fauna, especially Tardigrada, or water bears. 73 plant collections were made, and 17 more collections were made by others at Cape Bird and Lake Fryxell. Penguin Studies: The summer was a fourth of a PhD study of antagonistic behaviour and nest dispersion in the Adelie penguin (Pygocelis adeliae). Most of the work throughout this study has been observational. Long periods were spent watching penguins at selected areas of the rookery. A few adults were banded this summer, but most observations were made on adults banded in previous summers. A total of 750 penguins have now been banded. The oldest of these have four year known breeding history. Aspects of special attention this summer included circadian rhythms and individual behaviour. Study colonies were mapped regularly and vertical photographs taken for a comparison with last season’s photographs.
Skua Studies at Cape Bird: Previous studies of the South Polar Skua (Catharacta maccormacki) at Cape Bird have concentrated on breeding adults. Skuas are strongly territorial and most of the Adelie penguin rookery at Cape Bird is divided up between breeding adults. On one small area (150 square yards) there is a flock of essentially non-breeding birds which is commonly known as the club. The number of club skuas varies from year to year and the location of the club may shift slightly but during this summer there were about thirty skuas in the club on the northern penguin rookery. There were the skuas on which the study was concentrated.
Fresh Water Studies: A seasonal ecological study was carried out on Bird Lake, the largest of several freshwater lakes in the moraine of the area. These lakes are situated at about 400’ above sea level, and a few feet below the edge of the Mount Bird ice cap. Field work undertaken included,
(1) Water temperature, depth, conductivity, pH and light were recorded weekly,
(2) Water samples were taken weekly and analysed for oxygen alkalinity, chloride, and chlorophyll,
(3) Weekly quantitative samples were taken to determine the numbers of the three main species of animals. Quantitative sampling was difficulty with the tow species of bdelloid rotifers, Philodina gregaria, and Adineta grandis, because of their clumped distribution.,
(4) Three water samples taken in November, December and January were returned to Christchurch for complete chemical analysis,
(5) Diurnal studies. 1,2 and 3 above were carried out five times over a period of 25 hours to determine any diurnal variations.
Collembola Studies: The main purpose of the work carried out at Cape Bird was to gather data to supplement the full season’s study carried out in 1970-1971. The work concentrated in the following aspects of the biology of the springtail Gomphiocephalus hodgsoni.
(1) Population data on winter survivors,
(2) Diurnal activity and movements,
(3) Soil moisture regime and rate of thaw,
(4) Experiments on culturing. Marine Programme: During the summer season 1970-1971 a marine biological programme was initiated at Cape Bird. The programme centred around designing and constructing a small boat for inshore biological work at Cape Bird. T
he boat needed to be a stable platform from which lighter oceanographic equipment could be used. It also had to be highly manoeuvrable to operate in the pack ice in McMurdo Sound. Finally it had to be prefabricated and reasonable light for ease of shipment.
PersonnelR GreenwodG KnoxD LawryTas CarryerEric SpurrBarbara Spurr (Mrs)G KnightDavid SmithJ HiltonD HorningLocationsLake FryxellCape CrozierScott BaseCape BirdCape HallettThe Strand MorainesSuess GlacierGranite HarbourMount SuessMount EnglandDunlop IslandCape SpikeHjorth HillGeolocation Position Position Position Position Position PositionSeason1970-1971