Captive-rearing of wildlife for release has been used with variable success in the conservation management of a range of species. These programmes protect individuals through a vulnerable life stage with the aim of releasing them to re-enforce wild populations once threats are minimised. To maximise the effectiveness of captive-rearing, species’ managers must understand how management decisions and procedures affect individual outcomes during both the rearing phase and post-release.
Black-fronted terns/tarapirohe (Chlidonias albostriatus) are highly adapted to nesting on clear shingle areas of the braided rivers in the South Island, New Zealand. They are nationally and internationally classified as endangered. Ongoing threats, primarily an interaction of predation and habitat degradation or loss, have resulted in population decline. Conservation management in the form of control of introduced mammalian predators has proven partially successful.
Estuaries are vulnerable, unstable areas sensitive to the impact of man, because they are at the interface of two contrasting environments in which the results of environmental changes induced by man are focused. This study presents data on the extent, character, status and on the number of surveys of New Zealand estuaries. The widest possible interpretation of the term estuary has been used so as to produce the most comprehensive list.
Expenditure on endangered species management is increasing greatly, on a global basis. Managers need tools to evaluate the performance of endangered species programmes because there will always be more demand for resources than there are available. Cost Effectiveness Analysis (CEA) is used here to evaluate the performance of the kokako (Callaeas cinerea) recovery programme. This species is being managed at a number of sites in New Zealand and analysis shows a large variation in costs and effectiveness between these sites.
Native birds may have been underestimated as pollinators of the New Zealand flora due to their early decline in abundance and diversity on the mainland. This paper reconsiders the relative importance of birds and insects as pollinators to eight native flowering plants, representing a range of pollination syndromes, on two offshore island refuges. Experimental manipulations were made on five of these plant species to assess the relative effectiveness of bird and insect visitors as pollinators.
Changes in the vegetation of Flat Top Hill, a highly modified conservation area in semi;arid Central Otago, New Zealand, are described four years after the cessation of sheep and rabbit grazing. Unusually moist weather conditions coincide with the four-year period of change in response to the cessation of grazing. Between 1993 and 1997, the average richness and diversity (H') of species increased, and the average proportion of native species decreased significantly.
An account is given of the vegetation of Flat Top Hill, in the driest part of semi-arid lowland Central Otago, New Zealand. Although highly modified, the area was acquired for conservation in 1992, following almost 150 years of pastoral use. The vegetation was sampled in a composite scheme using permanent monitoring sites placed to include the majority of habitats and communities present. A number of environmental factors were measured in each sample. Native species comprise 53% of the vascular flora of the area (211 species).
The ability of feral goats to become pests is partly a consequence of the process of domestication. Neolithic people selected biological characteristics from wild goats, such as higher intrinsic rates of increase and increased sociability that have resulted in their domestic descendants becoming a particular nuisance when they escape to become feral. Feral goats live in about 11 % of New Zealand, mostly on land reserved for conservation of the indigenous biota. Their uncontrolled densities are usually less than 1 ha-1, but have reached 10 ha-1 in one area.
Figure of Eight Island is located in the southern end of the Auckland Islands and hosts the smallest breeding colony of New Zealand (NZ) sea lions (Phocarctos hookeri). Between 1995/96 and 2005/06, pup production in this colony decreased by 57% (from 144 to 62 pups). In contrast, there was a 30% decrease in pup production in the largest colony in the north-east of the Auckland Islands over the same period. NZ sea lions in the Auckland Islands area are subject to by-catch deaths and resource competition from subantarctic trawl fisheries.