New Zealand has three species of endemic amphibians in the genus Leiopelma, all of which are threatened with extinction. The primary threats to their persistence are mammalian predators and habitat loss, and the translocation of these frogs into restored habitat is a common method of conservation. The Maud Island frog (Leiopelma hamiltoni), is considered terrestrial with habitat needs centering on complex boulder-strewn habitat. However, during recent surveys of a translocated population, we found repeated use of arboreal habitat within this species.
Ship rats (Rattus rattus) were removed from sites on Pearl Island, southern Stewart Island, in 2004 and 2005, to test whether they excluded Pacific rats (R. exulans) or Norway rats (R. norvegicus) or both from podocarp-broadleaf forest. As predators can influence habitat use in rodents, Pearl Island was selected because no mammalian predators of rodents are present. Rats were trapped in two other habitats to clarify rat distribution on the island and to obtain samples for stable isotope investigation of food partitioning within habitats.
The relative abundance of ship rats (Rattus rattus), Norway rats (R. norvegicus), and Pacific rats (R. exulans), was measured in four vegetation types on Stewart Island/Rakiura, over six consecutive seasons. Ship rats were found in all four vegetation types and dominated in podocarp-broadleaf forest and riparian shrubland. Norway rats were most common in subalpine shrubland and Pacific rats dominated in manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) shrubland. Analysis of micro-habitat affinities for the three species showed that ship rats were habitat generalists.
We measured horse density, social structure, habitat use, home ranges and altitudinal micro-climates in the south-western Kaimanawa ranges east of Waiouru, New Zealand. Horse density in the Auahitotara ecological sector averaged 3.6 horses.per km² and ranged from 0.9 to 5.2 horses.per km² within different zones.
Short-tailed bats (Mystacina sp.) were rediscovered in Nothofagus dominant rainforest in the Eglinton Valley in February 1997, representing the first records of these bats in Fiordland since 1871. Breeding females, adult males and juveniles were captured. This paper presents preliminary observations of taxonomy, echolocation calls, population size, habitat use, activity patterns, home range size, movements, roosting, and singing behaviour. Compared to lesser short- tailed bats (M.
Baited pitfall traps were used to sample Oligosoma maccanni and Oligosoma nigriplantare polychroma at Birdlings Flat, on Kaitorete Spit, Canterbury, New Zealand. The two species of skink showed distinctive patterns of habitat use with O. maccanni being almost entirely confined to dunelands while O. n. polchroma was invariably captured in the shrub-covered terraces behind the dunes. This is in direct contrast to what has been documented for these species in central Otago.
Ship rat (Rattus rattus) and mouse (Mus musculus) density and habitat use were estimated by snap trapping and tracking tunnels at Kaharoa in central North Island, New Zealand. Eighty-one ship rats were caught in an effective trapping area of 12.4 ha. Extinction trapping gave an estimated density of 6.7 rats ha(-1) (6.5-7.8 rats ha(-1), 95% confidence intervals). A linear relationship existed between ship rat trapping and tracking rates. Estimating the density of mice was impossible because trapping rates increased rather than decreased during the experiment.
We studied the ecology of a high-density population of stoats in Fiordland, New Zealand, in the summer and autumn of 1990-91 following a Nothofagus seeding in 1990. Results are compared with findings from the same area in 1991-92, a period of lower stoat density. In the high-density year, minimum home ranges (revealed by radio-tracking) of four females averaged 69 ha and those of three males 93 ha; range lengths averaged 1.3 km and 2.5 km respectively. Neither difference was statistically significant.
Habitat use of a forest bird community was studied in temperate rainforests in South Westland, New Zealand between 1983 and 1985. This paper examines foraging methods, feeding stations and seasonal variations in the availability and use of food types and provides a brief review of the subject. The forest bird community was comprised of a large number of apparently generalist feeders and few dietary specialists. However, the degree of foraging specialisation should not be viewed only in relation to the food types consumed.
Home range and diet of stoats inhabiting beech forest were examined by trapping and radio-tracking. Eleven stoats (6 female, 5 male) were fitted with radio-transmitters. Minimum home ranges of five females averaged 124 ± 21 ha and of four males 206 ± 73 ha. Range lengths of females averaged 2.3 ± 0.3 km and of males 4.0 ± 0.9 km. These differences were not statistically significant. Adult female stoats appeared to have mutually exclusive home ranges. Two females and one male had home ranges that were bisected by the Eglinton River.