There is increasing interest in restoring native predators in order to regulate ecosystems and maintain biodiversity, but predator reintroductions are still controversial for complex social and ecological reasons. Few studies have examined predator restoration on islands or in ecosanctuaries, where highly endemic faunas have typically undergone precipitous declines and extinctions due to novel invasive predators, and translocations are used to restore species.
There are currently many attempts in New Zealand to restore native ecosystem functioning through the intensive control of introduced mammalian predators. One system that is faltering is bird pollination of endemic mistletoes (Peraxilla tetrapetala) by bellbirds (Anthornis melanura), apparently because of stoat (Mustela erminea) predation. We used a paired-catchment experiment in Nothofagus solandri var. cliffortioides forest at Craigieburn, central South Island, to measure whether stoat control could restore bellbird densities and mistletoe pollination.