Recently introduced mammalian predators have had devastating consequences for biotas of archipelagos that were isolated from mammals over evolutionary time. However, understanding which antipredator mechanisms are lost through relaxed selection, and how they influence the ability of prey to respond to novel predatory threats, is limited. The varying effects on native lizard populations of the relatively recent and patchy history of mammalian introductions to New Zealand’s islands provide an opportunity to examine the consequences of relaxed selection.
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.