The relationship between Rattus rattus trap capture rates and microhabitat in Mt Aspiring National Park

The role of vegetation in the relationship between microhabitat and ship rat (Rattus rattus) distribution remains poorly understood. We used three years of trapping data (2017–2020) to calculate capture rates for 97 traps in the Makarora Valley and Haast Pass areas of Mt Aspiring National Park and determined aspects of the vegetation surrounding traps that influenced capture rates.

Distribution and abundance of small mammals in relation to habitat in Pureora Forest Park

Populations of ship rats (Rattus rattus), Norway rats (R. norvegicus), feral house mice (Mus musculus), stoats (Mustela erminea), weasels (M. nivalis), and ferrets (M. furo) were sampled with killtraps every three months from November 1982 to November 1987 in logged and unlogged native forest and in exotic plantations of various ages at Pureora Forest Park, central North Island. Mice (n=522 collected) were fewest in unlogged native forest, more abundant in road edge cutover forest, and most abundant in a young (5-10 year old) plantation.

The secret life of wild brown kiwi: studying behaviour of a cryptic species by direct observation

Kiwi possess many unusual features that make them interesting subjects for behavioural study. However, their nocturnal, cryptic nature has meant that studies to date rely on data collected indirectly. Infrared technology has enabled us to observe kiwi directly and here we present the first study of wild brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) behaviour by direct observation. We used handheld infrared video cameras to obtain c. 6 hours of video footage of kiwi over 19 months.