conservation

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.

A case for multi-species management of sympatric herbivore pest impacts in the central Southern Alps, New Zealand

Five herbivorous introduced mammals are sympatric in the central Southern Alps. All of these species have the potential to affect conservation values, yet the Department of Conservation at present monitors and mitigates the impacts of only one. We outline ecological arguments for multi-species management of sympatric herbivore pest impacts and use the two- species system of sympatric thar and chamois to highlight the need for multi-species management of the central Southern Alps alpine pest community.

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.

Lagomorph abundance around yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) colonies, South Island, New Zealand

Predation of yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) chicks may be reduced by removing stock around penguin breeding sites because long grass may reduce lagomorph abundance and hence small mammal predators. This study tests this hypothesis in the South Island, New Zealand. The abundance of lagomorph faeces (mainly rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus, but some European hare Lepus europaeus) was used as an index of relative abundance of lagomorphs at 16 penguin breeding sites in winter 1991 and 37 sites in 1992/93.

Estimating the home range and carrying capacity for takahe (Porphyrio mantelli) on predator-free offshore islands: Implications for future management

Predator-free offshore islands play an important role in the conservation of many of New Zealand's endemic species. Takahe (Porphyrio mantelli) have small populations established on four offshore islands and although hatching success is lower than that of the wild mainland population in Fiordland, juvenile and adult survival is high and populations are growing exponentially. Accurate estimates of home range size and potential carrying capacities are therefore essential for the future management of the population as a whole.

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