Predation by introduced mammals is considered a primary threat to New Zealand’s native frog populations. Rats are known predators of the terrestrial Archey’s frog (Leiopelma archeyi), New Zealand’s smallest Leiopelmatid frog. During a 12 year study in Whareorino Conservation Area, we investigated effects of sustained rat control on survival, number of independent juveniles per adult, and abundance of Archey’s frog. Frogs were monitored following a capture-recapture robust design at four grids, split between a 300-ha ‘nontreatment’ area and a 300-ha rat control ‘treatment’ area.
The endemic fauna of New Zealand evolved in the absence of mammalian predators and their introduction has been devastating. Large-scale aerial applications of cereal baits containing sodium fluoroacetate (1080) are routinely used to control these pests. During one such operation in the Blue Mountains, West Otago, trail cameras were used to monitor the impact of the application on mammalian predators.
Invasive rodents pose one of the biggest threats to island ecosystems globally. Reliable methods for detecting and monitoring rodent presence are essential for the effective conservation management of islands, but many detection devices fail to attract rodents when natural resources are abundant. Using a toolbox of detection methods is therefore key to detecting rodents as individual rodents vary in their susceptibility to detection devices.
The eradication operations to remove stoats (Mustela erminea) from islands in Fiordland provided an opportunity to assess the diet of stoats in areas with no rodents or with only mice (Mus musculus) available as mammalian prey. The carcasses of stoats trapped on Chalky Island in 1999, Secretary Island and the adjacent mainland in 2005, and Resolution Island in 2008 were collected and their gut contents analysed. On rodent-free Chalky Island, most of the stoats had consumed birds, mostly passerines.