Two conservation tools have been developed over the last 10–15 years for species on the New Zealand mainland that are vulnerable to introduced mammalian predators: landscape-scale predator trapping networks, and eradication of predators within mammal-proof exclosures. We tested whether these tools would allow population growth of critically endangered grand skinks (Oligosoma grande) and Otago skinks (O. otagense) over three years.
Ship rat (Rattus rattus) density was assessed by snap-trapping during summer and autumn in eight indigenous forest fragments (mean 5 ha) in rural landscapes of Waikato, a lowland pastoral farming district of the North Island, New Zealand. Four of the eight were fenced and four grazed. In each set of four, half were connected with hedgerows, gullies or some other vegetative corridor to nearby forest and half were completely isolated.