Our Wellington and Manawatū campuses are open, Auckland remains closed at AL4. More information.

Published research

A number of the Wildbase team have published research relevant to wildlife oil spill response. Any questions or for more information, get in touch with us.

Journal articles

Oiled wildlife response management and impacts

Chilvers BL, Battley PF 2019. Species prioritization index for oiled wildlife response planning in New Zealand. Marine Pollution Bulletin 149: 110529


Gartrell BD, Battley PF, Clumpner C, Dwyer W, Hunter S, Jensen M, McConnell HM, Michael S, Morgan KJ, Nijman P, Ward JM, White BJ, Ziccardi MH 2019.  Captive husbandry and veterinary care of seabirds during the MV Rena oil spill response. Wildlife Research 46: 610–621


Sievwright KA, Battley PF, McConnell HM, Armstrong DP, Morgan MJ 2019.  Survival rates of oil-rehabilitated and non-rehabilitated little penguins after the C/V Rena oil spill, New Zealand.  Marine Pollution Bulletin 146: 317–325 


Sievwright KA, Battley PF, McConnell HM, Chilvers BL, Morgan MJ 2019.  Post-release breeding success of oil-rehabilitated and non-rehabilitated little blue penguins, Eudyptula minor, following the M/V Rena oil spill, New Zealand. Marine Pollution Bulletin 149: 110553


Hunter SA, Tennyson AJD, Bartle JAS, Miskelly CM, Waugh SM, McConnell HM, Morgan KJ, Finlayson ST, Baylis SM, Chilvers BL, Gartrell BD 2019. Assessing avian mortality during oil spills: a case study of the New Zealand MV ‘Rena’ oil spill, 2011.  Endangered Species Research 39: 303-314


Finlayson GR, Chilvers BL, Pearson H, White BJ, Finlayson ST, Sievwright K, van Zyla N, Morgan KJ, Clumpner C 2017.  Efficacy of seawater for washing oiled birds during an oil spill response. Marine Pollution Bulletin 126:137-140


Chilvers BL, Finlayson G, Candy EJ, Sriram A, Morgan KJ, Cockrem JF 2016. Corticosterone stress hormone responses in oil rehabilitated and non-rehabilitated little penguins. Marine Pollution Bulletin 113: 312–315


Chilvers BL, G. Finlayson, D. Ashwell, S.I. Low, K.J. Morgan, H.E. Pearson 2016. Is the way an oil spill response is reported in the media important for the final perception of the clean-up? Marine Pollution Bulletin 104(1) DOI:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.01.013


Chilvers BL, Morgan KJ, Finlayson G, Sievwright K 2015. Diving behaviour of wildlife impacted by an oil spill: A clean-up and rehabilitation success? Marine Pollution Bulletin 100: 128-133.


McConnell HM, Morgan KJ, Sine A, Leung YB, Ward JM, Chilvers BL, Gartrell B 2015. Using sea water for cleaning oil from seabird feathers. Methods in Ecology and Evolution https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.12413.


McConnell H, Gartrell BD, Chilvers BL, Finlayson ST, Bridgen PCE, Morgan KJ 2015. Baseline hydrocarbon levels in New Zealand coastal and marine avifauna.  Marine Pollution Bulletin 94 DOI:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.02.001.


Leung Y-MB, Morgan KJ, White BJ, Ward JM, Chilvers BL 2015. Washing oiled marine birds in New Zealand:  Do we have a detergent that can be used? New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research DOI: 10.1080/00288330.2014.993661

Compassion Fatigue and Burnout in wildlife responders 

White B 2019.  Managing compassion fatigue and moral distress in animal care professionals.  The New Zealand Veterinary Nurse 25(92) 16-18


Yeung P, White B, Chilvers, BL 2017.  Exploring Wellness of Wildlife Carers in New Zealand: A Descriptive Study, Anthrozoös, 30:  49-563 https://doi.org/10.1080/08927936.2017.1370213


White B, Yeung P, Chilvers BL   Reducing the “cost of caring” in animal-care professionals: Social work contribution in a pilot education program to address burnout and compassion fatigue.  Journal of Human Behaviour in the Social Environment

Wildlife ecology

Muller CG, Chilvers BL, French RK, PJ Battley 2019. Aerial VHF tracking of wildlife using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV): A case study on Yellow-eyed Penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) nest location. Wildlife Research 46:145-153. https://doi.org/10.1071/WR17147


French RK, Muller CG, Chilvers BL, PJ Battley 2018. Behavioural consequences of human disturbance on subantarctic Yellow-eyed Penguins Megadyptes antipodes. Bird Conservation International 1-14 doi:10.1017/S0959270918000096


Michael S, Chilvers BL, Roe WD, Gartrell BD 2016. Long-term survival and reproductive success of New Zealand sea lions (Phocarctos hookeri) treated with ivermectin as pups. Wildlife Research http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WR15120

Garcia-Ramirez JC, Elliot G, Walker K, Castro I, Trewick, SA 2016. Trans-equatorial long-distance dispersal into remote oceanic island of a rail bird (Aves: Rallidae). Journal of Avian Biology 46: 1–8

Meyer S, Robertson BC, Chilvers BL, Krkosek M 2015. Population dynamics reveal conservation priorities of the threatened New Zealand sea lion Phocarctos hookeri. Marine Biology DOI 10.1007/s00227-015-2695-8


Robertson LM, Alley MR, Gartrell BD, Castro IC, Lopez-Villalobos N, Sancha E 2015. Efficacy of anthelmintic treatment in captive-reared black stilts (Himantopus novaezelandiae) released to the wild. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 27:1-8

Wildlife population studies

Muller CG, Chilvers BL, French RK, Hiscock JA, Battley PF 2020.  Population estimate for Yellow-eyed Penguins (Megadyptes antipodes) in the subantarctic Auckland Islands, New Zealand. NOTORNIS 67:  299-319


Chilvers BL, Hiscock JA  2019.  Significant decline of endangered Antipodes Island penguins: Is extreme weather an additional impact? Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 29: 546-553


Chilvers BL, Curtis H, Zintzen V, Wakelin L, Geange SW 2019.  A survey of four shag species in the outer Queen Charlottle Sound, New Zealand. Notornis 66: 37-40


Meyer S, Robertson BC, Chilvers BL, Krkošek M 2017. Marine mammal population decline linked to obscured by-catch. PNAS www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1703165114


Hiscock JA, Chilvers BL 2016. Snares crested penguins Eudyptes robustus population estimates and colony variability – 2000 to 2013. NZ Journal of Ecology 40: 16-21


Chilvers BL, Baker B, McClelland P, Hiscock J 2015. Monitoring Auckland Island shags: Comparison of aerial, boat and land-based surveys. Polar Biology 38:1847–1852

Wildlife diet and foraging ecology

Chilvers BL 2019.  Whisker stable isotope values indicate long-term foraging strategies for female New Zealand sea lions. Endangered Species Research 38: 55-66.


Chilvers BL 2019.  Variability of little blue penguin (Eudyptula minor) diving behaviour across New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 43: 1-8


Chilvers BL 2017. Preliminary assessment of the foraging behaviour and population dynamics of a cryptic population of the endangered New Zealand sea lion. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 42: 48-57


Chilvers BL 2017. Comparison of New Zealand’s little blue penguins, Eudyptula minor, diving behaviour. Polar Biology 1-10 doi:10.1007/s00300-017-2112-5


Chilvers BL 2017. Stable isotope signatures of whisker and blood serum confirm foraging strategies for female New Zealand sea lions derived from telemetry. Canadian Journal of Zoology 95: 955-963


Dunphy BJ, Taylor G, Landers TJ, Sagar RL, Chilvers BL, Ranjard L, Rayner MJ 2015. Dive behaviour, haematological parameters and oxygen stores of three New Zealand procellariforms. Marine Ecology Progress 523: 187–198

Wildlife management

Chilvers BL, Meyer S 2017. Conservation needs for the endangered New Zealand sea lion, Phocarctos hookeri. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. DOI 10.1002/aqc.2742


Chilvers BL 2017. Eared Seals Otariids. Encyclopaedia of Marine Mammals. Editors Wursig B, Kovac KM, Thewissen JGM. Academic Press, Elsevier. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128043271000054


Chilvers BL 2017. New Zealand sea lions, Phocarctos hookeri. Encyclopaedia of Marine Mammals. Editors Wursig B, Kovac KM, Thewissen JGM. Academic Press, Elsevier. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128043271001825


Chilvers BL 2017. New Zealand fur seals, Arctocephalus foresteri. Encyclopaedia of Marine Mammals. Editors Wursig B, Kovac KM, Thewissen JGM. Academic Press, Elsevier


MacMillan H, Moore AB, Augé AA, Chilvers BL 2016. GIS-based multi-criteria analysis to identify suitable coastal breeding habitats for recolonising species: the case study of New Zealand sea lions. Ocean and Coastal Management 130:162-171  

Chilvers BL Phocarctos hookeri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015. DOI: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T17026A1306343.en.

Wildlife genetics

Mays HL Jr, Oehler DA, Morrison KW, Morales AE, Lycans A, Perdue J, Battley PF, Cherel YL, Chilvers BL, Crofts S, Demongin L, Roger Fry W, Hiscock J, Kusch A, Marin M, Poisble, M, Quillfeldt P, Rey AR, Steinfurth A, Thompson DR, Weakley LA  2019. Phylogeography, population structure and species delimitation in Rockhopper Penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome and Eudyptes moseleyi). Journal of Heredity 110: 801-817


Stoffel MA, Humble E, Acevedo-Whitehouse K, Chilvers BL, Dickerson B, Galimberti F, Gemmell N, Goldsworthy S, Nichols HJ, Krueger O, Negro S, Osborne A, Paijmans AJ, Pastor T, Robertson B, Sanvito S, Schultz J, Shafer A, Wolf J, Hoffman JI 2019. Recent demographic histories and genetic diversity across pinnipeds are shaped by anthropogenic interactions and mediated by ecology and life-history. Nature Communications 9: 1-12

Collins CJ, Chilvers BL, Osborne A, Taylor M, Robertson BC 2017. Unique and isolated: Population structure has implications for management of the endangered New Zealand sea lion. Conservation Genetics DOI 10.1007/s10592-017-0969-z


Osborne AJ, Negro SS, Chilvers BL, Robertson BC, Kennedy MA, Gemmell NJ 2016. Genetic evidence of a population bottleneck and inbreeding in the endangered New Zealand sea lion, Phocarctos hookeri. Journal of Heredity DOI:10.1093/jhered/esw015


White DJ, Hall RJ, Wang J, Moore NE, Park D, McInnes K, Gartrel BD, Tompkins DM 2016. Discovery and complete genome sequence of a novel circovirus-like virus in the endangered Rowi kiwi, Apteryx rowi. Virus Genes 1-5


Sutton JT, Castro I, Robertson BC, Tompkins DM, Stanton JL, Jamieson IG 2016. MHC genetic diversity and avian malaria prevalence in Mokoia Island saddlebacks. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 40(3): 351-360


Collins C, Robertson B, Chilvers BL 2015. Historical population size of the threatened New Zealand sea lion Phocarctos hookeri. Journal of Mammology 97: 436–443


Osborne AJ, Pearson J, Negro SS, Chilvers BL, Kennedy MA, Gemmell NJ 2015. Heterozygote advantage at MHC DRB may influence response to infectious disease epizootics. Molecular Ecology 24: 1419–1432


Osborne AJ, Pearson J, Chilvers BL, Kennedy MA, Gemmell NJ 2015. Examining the role of components of Slc11a1 (Nramp1) in the susceptibility of New Zealand sea lions (Phocarctos

hookeri) to disease. PLoS ONE 10(4):  e0122703. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0122703

Wildlife health

Sriram A, Roe W, Booth M, Gartrell B 2018. Lead exposure in an urban, free-ranging parrot: Investigating prevalence, effect and source attribution using stable isotope analysis. Science of the Total Environment 634: 109-115. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.03.267


Gedye KR, Fremaux M, Garcia-Ramirez JC, Gartrell BD 2018. A preliminary survey of Chlamydia psittaci genotypes from native and introduced birds in New Zealand. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 66(3):  162-165. DOI: 10.1080/00480169.2018.1439779


Alley MR, Suepaul RB, McKinlay B, Young MJ, Wang J, Morgan KJ, Hunter SA, Gartrell BD 2017. Diphtheritic stomatitis in Yellow-eyed penguins (Megadyptes antipodes) in New Zealand. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 53(1): 102-110. DOI: 10.7589/2015-07-195


Buckle K, Roe WD, Howe L, Michael S, Duignan PG, Burrows E, Ha HJ, Humphrey S, McDonald WL 2017.  Brucella spp. infection causes subclinical disease and reproductive loss in endangered Hector’s dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori). Veterinary Pathology.   In Press doi: 10.1177/0300985817707023


Gartrell B, Agnew D, Alley M, Carpenter T, Ha, HJ, Howe L, Hunter S, McInnes K, Munday R, Roe W, Young M 2017. Investigation of a mortality cluster in wild adult Yellow-eyed penguins (Megadyptes antipodes) at Otago Peninsula, New Zealand. Avian Pathology 46(3): 278-288. DOI: 10.1080/03079457.2016.1264568


Grange ZL, Biggs PJ, Rose SP, Gartrell BD, Nelson NJ, French NP 2017. Genomic epidemiology and management of salmonella in island ecosystems used for Takahe conservation. Microbial Ecology 74(3): 735-744 doi:10.1007/s00248-017-0959-1


Hupman KE, Pawley MDM, Lea C, Grimes C, Voswinkel S, Roe WD, Stockin KA 2017. Viability of photo-identification as a tool to examine the prevalence of lesions on free-ranging common dolphins (Delphinus sp.). Aquatic Mammals 43(3): 64-278 DOI: 10.1578/AM.43.3.2017.264


Roe WD, Michael S, Fyfe J, Burrows E, Hunter SA, Howe L 2017. First report of systemic toxoplasmosis in a New Zealand sea lion (Phocarctos hookeri). New Zealand Veterinary Journal 65(1) : 46-50.


Sijbranda DC, Gartrell BD, Grange ZL, Howe L 2017. Use of a real-time PCR to explore the intensity of Plasmodium spp. Infections in native, endemic and introduced New Zealand birds. Parasitology DOI: 10.1017/S0031182017000919


Sijbranda DC, Hunter S, Howe L, Lenting B, Argilla L, Gartrell B 2017.  Cases of mortality in little penguins (Eudyptula minor) in New Zealand associated with avian malaria. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 65(6): 332-337 DOI: 10.1080/00480169.2017.1359124


Michael S, Howe L, Chilvers BL, Morel PHC, Roe WD 2016. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in mainland and sub-Antarctic New Zealand sea lion (Phocarctos hookeri) populations. New Zealand Veterinary Journal DOI:10.1080/00480169.2016.1191974


Michael S, Chilvers BL, Hunter SA, Duignan P, Roe W 2016. Pathology and epidemiology of stillbirth in New Zealand Sea Lions (Phocarctos hookeri) from Enderby Island, Auckland Islands, 1998–2012. Veterinary Pathology 53: 1241 – 1247


Robertson LM, Alley MR, Gartrell BD, Castro IC, Lopez-Villalobos N, Sancha E 2016. Efficacy of anthelmintic treatment in captive-reared black stilts (Himantopus novaezelandiae) released to the wild. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 64(2): 82-89

Sijbranda DC, Campbell J, Gartrell BD, Howe L 2016. Avian malaria in introduced, native and endemic New Zealand bird species in a mixed ecosystem. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 40(1), 72-79

Webster RKE, Aguilar RF, Argandona-Gonzalez AK, Conayne P, De Sousa D, Sriram A, Svensson CM, Gartrell BD 2016.  Forced molt in four juvenile Yellow-eyed penguins (Megadyptes antipodes). Journal of Wildlife Diseases In-Press doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/2015-11-305

Roe WD, Rogers L, Pinpimai K, Dittmer K, Marshall J, Chilvers BL 2015. Septicaemia and meningitis caused by infection of New Zealand sea lion pups with a hypermucoviscous strain of Klebsiella pneumonia.  Veterinary Microbiology 176:301-308