Acanthisitta chloris

Recruitment, survival and breeding success in a declining rifleman population

We used detailed life-history data collected over a six-year period from a colour-banded population of riflemen (Acanthisitta chloris) at Kowhai Bush, Kaikōura, to estimate population vital rates and assess their likely contribution to a concurrent population decline. Both mean juvenile survival (18%) and mean adult survival (49%) were low in comparison with reports from other populations. In contrast, breeding success was high, with pairs producing c. 3 fledglings per season on average. High breeding success was likely associated with nestbox use.