adaptive management

Roads and wildlife: the need for evidence-based decisions; New Zealand bats as a case study

Roads and associated land transport activities can affect a wide range of indigenous terrestrial vertebrate species. National legislation, particularly the Resource Management Act 1991, requires that developers ‘avoid, remedy or mitigate’ the adverse environmental effects of their activities. How these effects are identified and managed in New Zealand varies because regulators and land transport contractors deal with these issues on a case-by-case basis.

Using home-range data to optimise the control of invasive animals

Invasive species have been identified by the Convention on Biological Diversity as a significant threat to biodiversity. Conservation managers often lack tools for addressing uncertainty about the control intensity required to achieve cost-effective management of invasive species. We describe a modelling approach for informing the spacing of control-device lines given the availability of home-range data. To demonstrate its utility, we used data on stoats (Mustela erminea), an introduced mammalian predator responsible for the decline of endemic birds in New Zealand.

Developing population models for guiding reintroductions of extirpated bird species back to the New Zealand mainland

Population models are useful tools to guide management as they allow us to project growth and persistence of wildlife populations under different scenarios. Nevertheless, good data are needed to produce reliable models, and this requirement is problematic in some situations. North Island saddlebacks (Philesturnus rufusater) were reintroduced to Boundary Stream Mainland Island in September 2004, and this was the first time this species had occurred in an unfenced mainland area since their extirpation in the 19th century.

Risks to non-target species from use of a gel bait for possum control

The risks to non-target species of a newly developed bait containing either 0.15% 1080 or 0.6% cholecalciferol in a gel matrix were assessed. Very few of them ate gel bait. The safety of the gel bait is further enhanced by its placement in the purpose-designed bait station from which little spillage occurs, and which can be placed so that it is out of reach of most non-target animals. Comparative data show that nontarget species are considerably less susceptible to cholecalciferol than to sodium monofluoroacetate (1080).