conservation

Seed dispersal of fleshy-fruited environmental weeds in New Zealand

Fruit-eating animals play a key role in spreading non-native environmental weeds, via seed ingestion and subsequent dispersal. We reviewed available information on dispersal of fleshy-fruited environmental weeds in New Zealand. We found almost a third (32.9%) of 295 environmental weed species in New Zealand have fleshy fruits adapted for internal dispersal by animals. Fruiting phenology differs between weeds and native plants, with many weed species fruiting from late autumn until early spring (May to September) when native fruits are scarce.

Placement period of artificial retreats affects the number and demographic composition but not the body condition of skinks

Monitoring is important in conservation management, essential for assessing population trends, making decisions and allocating resources. Artificial retreats can offer a reliable, low impact and efficient method for monitoring cryptic herpetofauna. Methods for monitoring artificial retreats vary between different conservation management programmes in New Zealand, however, and a deeper understanding of the causes of these variations would encourage greater standardisation and enable more reliable comparisons to be made across temporal and spatial scales.

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.

Conservation of rare and threatened plant taxa in New Zealand—some principles.

Deficiencies in knowledge of New Zealand plants are outlined, particularly with regard to conservation status and distribution. In an effective and integrated approach to the documentation and study of rare and endangered plants four aspects must be considered: documentation of individual taxa, provision of effective protective legislation, preservation of populations in the wild and in cultivation, and education of both the general public and botanists.

Lakes Manapouri and Te Anau: Applied ecological studies of shoreline vegetation at lakes Manapouri and Te Anau, Fiordland: Part 4: Reccomendations.

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These recommendations are aimed at providing the maximum water use for both Lake Manapouri and Lake Te Anau commensurate with the conservation of those features of their natural shorelines which provide ecological stability and a high aesthetic quality.

Role of exotic pine forests in the conservation of the critically endangered New Zealand ground beetle Holcaspis brevicula (Coleoptera: Carabidae)

The Canterbury Plains in the eastern South Island is one of the most modified regions of New Zealand with less than 2% of indigenous vegetation cover remaining. The critically endangered ground beetle Holcaspis brevicula Butcher, a local endemic known only from a small area in that region, is thought to be threatened by the loss and fragmentation of the formerly widespread forest and shrubland habitat. Previously, only the two type specimens, both male, were known to science. From 2000–2005, we conducted a survey for H.

Cattle grazing and the regeneration of totara (Podocarpus totara var. waihoensis) on river terraces, south Westland, New Zealand

Totara-matai forests are an under-represented forest type in Westland, relative to their original extent, and require protection and enhancement where possible. This study examined the regeneration of totara on gorse-covered river terraces of the Whataroa and Waiho Rivers, on a site grazed by cattle at Whataroa, and ungrazed sites at both locations. Totara is regenerating prolifically at all sites. Tall-seedling densities were significantly higher at the grazed Whataroa site than at the ungrazed Whataroa site.

Comparative ecology of sympatric orange-fronted parakeets (Cyanoramphus malherbi) and yellow-crowned parakeets (C. auriceps), South Island, New Zealand

Sympatric orange-fronted (Cyanoramphus malherbi) and yellow-crowned parakeets (C. auriceps) were surveyed in a South Island beech (Nothofagusspp.) forest during the spring and summer of 1998/99. Habitat use, behaviour and diet were recorded for each parakeet identified. A single observer did all recording. Both species were seen most frequently in the upper-most 20% of the forest stratum. Orange-fronted parakeets were seen more frequently than yellow-crowned parakeets in the lowest 20% of the forest stratum.

A Chionochloa/Sphagnum/cushion valley bog in east Otago, New Zealand

A valley mire was sampled on the flanks of Swampy Hill, east Otago, New Zealand. It formed in a narrow valley, apparently originally comprising two basins. The end of the mire nearest the outlet contained species typical of fens (i.e., rheotrophic mires). At the head of the valley there was a section of the mire with mixed vegetation cover comprising the tussock grass Chionochloa rubra, Sphagnum species, and cushion/herb/shrub cover.

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