High throughput DNA sequencing technology has enabled entire biological communities to be characterised from DNA derived from pools of organisms, such as bulk-collected invertebrates, or DNA extracted from environmental samples (e.g. soil). These DNA-based techniques have the potential to revolutionise biodiversity monitoring.
New Zealand has just passed half a century of rodent eradications on islands. Confirmation of the first rat eradication in New Zealand on Maria Island/Ruapuke coincided with the devastating rat invasion on Big South Cape Island/Taukihepa. We review the early history of rodent management in New Zealand leading up to and including the Big South Cape Island/Taukihepa ship rat invasion, and document the development and implementation of rodent eradication technologies on New Zealand islands up to the present day.
In most regions of the world removal of environmental stress facilitates regeneration of native plants and habitats. However, in many of New Zealands modified landscapes, exotic species are likely to respond first to any reduction in stress because these fast-growing species are prevalent in local vegetation and dominate seed banks.
We highlight three areas of significant progress in ecology since 1989 which are particularly relevant to New Zealand, and three major challenges for the next two decades. Progress: (1) The unusual life histories of New Zealand organisms, including extreme longevity and low reproductive rates, are now seen as efficient responses to the low-disturbance environment present before the arrival of large mammals, including humans.