The distribution of parks and reserves in the Canterbury Land District is outlined, and attention is drawn to the predominance of forest and mountain vegetation within the present network of nature conservation.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Fragments of kahikatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydioides) forest provide a major opportunity for conservation of indigenous biodiversity in the heavily deforested landscape of the Waikato Basin, New Zealand. However, there is little documented information on what indigenous fauna survives in these fragments.
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.
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.
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.