New Zealand

Cost effectiveness of endangered species management: the kokako (Callaeas cinerea) in New Zealand

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.

Assessment of non-target impact of 1080-poisoning for vertebrate pest control on weta (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae and Rhaphidophoridae) and other invertebrates in artificial refuges

Artificial refuges and mark-recapture techniques were used to monitor the non-target impacts of handbroadcast application (simulating aerial application) of Wanganui No.7 cereal-based baits containing 0.15% (1500 µg g-1) 1080 on populations of weta and other invertebrates in Tararua Forest Park, North Island, New Zealand. Wellington tree weta (Hemideina crassidens) and a cave weta (Isoplectron sp.) were the only species of weta that occupied the refuges.

Relationship between male head size and mating opportunity in the harem-defence, polygynous tree weta Hemideina maori (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae)

The most distinguishing feature of the tree weta genus Hemideina (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae) is their cephalic weaponry, which is thought to be the result of sexual selection on males to aggressively defend groups of reproductive females. Mountain stone weta H. maori is a tree weta that shelters in cavities under flat rocks on rocky outcrops in the alpine region of the South Island.

Developing a forest biodiversity monitoring approach for New Zealand

There is a lack of comprehensive and consistent information to inform policy makers about the status of New Zealand’s forest biodiversity. Three reasons for collecting such information are: assessing the effectiveness of management, reporting on the status of biodiversity under national and international requirements, and improving our knowledge of ecosystem dynamics for designing effective management systems. The challenge is to design monitoring systems that address these multiple needs simultaneously, and at a range of spatial and temporal scales.

Life cycle, survival rates and longevity of an alpine weta Hemideina maori (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae) determined using mark-recapture analysis

Although reproductive and behavioural studies have been conducted on captive tree weta, there have been very few ecological field studies of any of the weta species involving free-ranging, marked individuals. The mountain stone weta (Hemideina maori) is a tree weta that lives on rock tors in the alpine region of the South Island of New Zealand. Over three seasons each of 480 adults and 789 juveniles was individually marked on four large and 14 small tors to gather baseline information on aspects of H. maori’s life cycle and life history.

The relative importance of birds and insects as pollinators of the New Zealand flora

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.

Brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) diet in a north Westland mixed-beech (Nothofagus) forest

We quantified brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) diet in a mixed Nothofagus fusca-N. menziesii forest in north Westland. Diet comprised 49 food items of which four (Aristotelia serrata, Muehlenbeckia australis and Weinmannia racemosa foliage, and W. racemosa flowers) contributed 68%. The canopy dominant Nothofagus species were a minor diet component (<1%), while wood, fungi and bark were a small but consistent part of diet (10.1%).

Cattle grazing and the regeneration of totara (Podocarpus totara var. waihoensis) on river terraces, south Westland, New Zealand

Totara-matai forests are an under-represented forest type in Westland, relative to their original extent, and require protection and enhancement where possible. This study examined the regeneration of totara on gorse-covered river terraces of the Whataroa and Waiho Rivers, on a site grazed by cattle at Whataroa, and ungrazed sites at both locations. Totara is regenerating prolifically at all sites. Tall-seedling densities were significantly higher at the grazed Whataroa site than at the ungrazed Whataroa site.

Managing biodiversity information: development of New Zealand's National Vegetation Survey databank

The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) databank is designed to safeguard the investment of millions of dollars spent over the last 50 years collecting, computerising and checking New Zealand vegetation data and to optimise the potential knowledge gains from these data. Data such as these can be synthesised across a range of spatial and temporal scales, allow novel ecological questions to be considered, and can underpin land management and legal reporting obligations.

Lack of pre-dispersal seed predators in introduced Asteraceae in New Zealand

The idea that naturalised invading plants have fewer phytophagous insects associated with them in their new environment relative to their native range is often assumed, but quantitative data are few and mostly refer to pests on crop species. In this study, the incidence of seed-eating insect larvae in flowerheads of naturalised Asteraceae in New Zealand is compared with that in Britain where the species are native. Similar surveys were carried out in both countries by sampling 200 flowerheads of three populations of the same thirteen species.

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