Evaluation of remote cameras for monitoring multiple invasive mammals in New Zealand

Numerous conservation projects in New Zealand aim to reduce populations of invasive mammalian predators to facilitate the recovery of native species. However, results of control efforts are often uncertain due to insufficient monitoring. Remote cameras have the potential to monitor multiple species of invasive mammals. To determine the efficiency of cameras as a multi-species monitoring tool, we compared the detection rates of remote cameras and tracking tunnels over 4 non-consecutive days across 40 sites in Wellington.

Effects of tree control method, seed addition, and introduced mammal exclusion on seedling establishment in an invasive Pinus contorta forest

Pinus contorta is a widespread and ecologically damaging invasive tree in the southern hemisphere. Land managers want control methods that limit reinvasion by P. contorta and promote the recovery of native plant communities and ecosystem functions. Recovery of native vegetation may be slow if native seed supply is limited and/or introduced mammals destroy seeds and seedlings. We investigated how tree control method (felling or poisoning), seed addition, and exclusion of introduced mammals affected subsequent seedling establishment in montane stands of invasive P.

Hawkweed invasion does not prevent indigenous non-forest vegetation recovery following grazing removal

Factors controlling vegetation restoration of depleted short-tussock grasslands are poorly understood. We investigated effects of mouse-ear hawkweed (‘hawkweed’, Pilosella officinarum) cover and environmental stress associated with landform and soil type on the rate and pattern of indigenous vegetation recovery from grazing in the highly-modified 1000-ha Lake Tekapo Scientific Reserve in the north of the Upper Waitaki (‘Mackenzie’) Basin. The reserve has been destocked of sheep and under effective rabbit control since 1992.

Spatio-temporal changes in density and distribution of burrow-nesting seabird colonies after rat eradication

The size and distribution of colonies of burrow-nesting petrels is thought to be limited partly by the availability of suitable breeding habitat and partly by predation. Historically, the availability of safe nesting habitat was restricted in New Zealand, due to the introduction of rats by humans. More recently, however, habitat has been restored by rat eradication. Petrel colony growth is mediated by both positive and negative density dependence, although it is unclear if, or how, density dependence will affect patterns in post-eradication colony recovery.

Predictors of relative abundance of tree weta (Hemideina thoracica) in an urban forest remnant

Restoration of urban forest remnants is an increasing activity worldwide, but the effects of restoration efforts on local wildlife in urban remnants remain poorly understood. Understanding the benefits of restoration can also be confounded because of difficulties in monitoring the abundance of representative species, or understanding their ecological requirements.

Are current ecological restoration practices capturing natural levels of genetic diversity? A New Zealand case study using AFLP and ISSR data from mahoe (Melicytus ramiflorus)

Sourcing plant species of local provenance (eco-sourcing) has become standard practice in plant-community restoration projects. Along with established ecological restoration practices, knowledge of genetic variation in existing and restored forest fragments is important for ensuring the maintenance of natural levels of genetic variation and connectivity (gene flow) among populations. The application of restoration genetics often employs anonymous ‘fingerprinting’ markers in combination with limited sample sizes due to financial constraints.

Scotch broom facilitates indigenous tree and shrub germination and establishment in dryland New Zealand

It is common practice in New Zealand dryland areas to chemically or mechanically control invasive woody weeds, including Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius). Such weed control is not always effective in achieving the often implicit aim of advancing the restoration of indigenous woody vegetation. We used a field experiment on a braided river terrace on the Canterbury Plains to test how five different management treatments of broom cover affected the germination, survival and growth of six indigenous tree and shrub species in a dryland setting.

Restoring bird pollination of Fuchsia excorticata by mammalian predator control

Many restoration projects aim to increase populations of native fauna and flora, but benefits to the ecological interactions between species are unknown. The restoration of bird pollination services to Fuchsia excorticata (tree fuchsia) was examined at Maungatautari, in the Waikato Region, New Zealand. At Maungatautari, a pest-exclusion fence encloses ~3400 ha of native forest, within which most mammalian pests were eradicated between 2004 and 2007.

Species richness of indigenous beetles in restored plant communities on Matiu-Somes Island, Wellington Harbour, New Zealand

Previous studies have shown that indigenous beetle diversity reflects indigenous plant diversity in modified and remnant habitats. This study examines the indigenous: introduced relationship at a locality where degraded pasture has been progressively revegetated. Pitfall traps were used to collect beetles from three revegetated sites of different ages (5, 17 and 100 years) and in a coastal Muehlenbeckia habitat on Matiu- Somes Island (25 ha), Wellington Harbour, New Zealand. A total of 78 morphospecies were found over 12 months.

Phormium tenax, an unusual nurse plant

In this paper we document the role of Phormium tenax as a nurse plant in unimproved pasture. We show that for our study area the regeneration of woody species was limited solely to P. tenax clumps with 22 native and one introduced regenerating woody species present. The number of woody species and of individual woody plants regenerating within P. tenax is not correlated with distance from the edge of the remnant forest but is significantly correlated with P. tenax clump area. P.