The Dominion Post: ‘Monogamous’ gannets are more unfaithful than humans

David Gadd of the Dominion Post writes about new research exposing the ‘unfaithfulness’ of gannets in New Zealand.

Previously thought to be monogamous, the study revealed that 40 per cent of these birds are taking up with new partners each breeding season.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“A German doctorate student, Steffi Ismar, 29, has completed two years of research on the Cape Kidnappers colony in Hawke’s Bay.

“”It’s always been assumed that these birds are monogamous,” she said. But gannets are less monogamous than humans – figures from 2008 show a divorce rate among New Zealanders of 11.3 per cent.

“She could not tell if it was male or female birds that were more likely to push the other partner out. The birds look identical and sexing requires blood sampling. She plans to do that in a future study.”