Understanding when a species is active in its’ environment is essential when designing inventory and monitoring protocols, especially for ectotherms whose activity depends on local weather conditions. The New Zealand alpine zone hosts a diverse native assemblage of invertebrates that are poorly understood yet likely to face an increasing number of threats, particularly associated with climate change and the range expansion of introduced pests.
Translocations are becoming increasingly common although the effectiveness of this conservation tool for amphibians is highly variable. We reviewed ten translocations of Leiopelma frogs occurring between 1924 and 2016. Data were gathered on factors which may have influenced translocation outcomes. Results at each location were measured against an established four-step framework for stages of success: survival of individuals, reproduction, population growth, and population viability.
Understanding the ecology of cryptic species is essential for designing effective monitoring and conservation strategies. Leiopelma archeyi is a native New Zealand frog with cryptic colouration, patterning, and behaviour. Our study examined dorsal colour variation and climbing behaviour in this species. Our first aim was to investigate if L. archeyi demonstrates colour crypsis by background-matching. Secondly, we determined if green pigmentation is lost as frogs age by comparing frog body size (a proxy for age) with the percentage of green on their dorsal surface.
Feral cats (Felis catus) have a negative impact on native biodiversity in New Zealand. As such, their populations require careful management and monitoring of the effectiveness of these management operations. We used camera traps to assess (1) effectiveness of an intensive cat control operation, and (2) the level of reinvasion six months later. Cat abundance was estimated on a pastoral property in Hawke’s Bay, North Island, New Zealand, subject to cat control using trapping and shooting.
Inventory and monitoring of biodiversity requires effective sampling tools. Footprint tracking tunnels, developed in New Zealand to monitor small mammals, may also be useful for sampling lizards and other reptiles but more research is needed to verify this. We compared the detectability of terrestrial skinks using two methods: pitfall trapping and footprint tracking. In New Zealand, the former is the traditional method for sampling skinks, while the latter is routinely used to monitor populations of introduced rodents and mustelids.
Monitoring breeding outcomes of cryptic nocturnal species such as the North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) is an important aim for conservation management in New Zealand. While fitting male kiwi with radio transmitters enables incubation burrows to be found and monitored, it is invasive and expensive. Remote monitoring methods (without handling of birds) are preferable.
Globally, translocations of herpetofauna have been notoriously unsuccessful. Most previous translocations of green geckos (Naultinus spp.) have failed to result in population establishment. However, recent penned releases of jewelled geckos (moko kākāriki; Naultinus gemmeus) have led to increased site fidelity, reduced dispersal, reduced home range sizes, and reduced minimum daily movements, facilitating population establishment.
The New Zealand Department of Conservation is responsible for biodiversity management over approximately one-third of New Zealand’s land area and a network of marine protected areas; it also has a more general role in managing protected species and biodiversity advocacy. In 2004 the Department of Conservation began the development of a national natural heritage monitoring framework known as the New Zealand Biodiversity Assessment Framework, which has been operational since 2011.
Abstract: The Department of Conservation has implemented a Biodiversity and Monitoring Reporting System (BMRS) that estimates occupancy rates and relative abundances of introduced brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) at a representative sample of sites on public conservation land. Leg-hold traps have been used to monitor possums in the BMRS, but wax tags and chew cards have logistical and financial advantages over traps.
This article assesses compliance with biodiversity compensation on New Zealand’s conservation land. Of the 261 Department of Conservation (DOC) concessions for commercial activity searched, only about 15% included compensation provisions. A sample of 20 concessions of that 15% suggests 68% achieve full compliance. Our results suggest compliance is influenced by factors such as habitat and activity type, protected area category, and whether a concession holder has pending concessions and/or renewals. Inconsistencies in compliance monitoring, enforcement, and reporting merit attention.