Large scale aerial poison operations with 1080-carrot baits are used extensively to control possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) populations in New Zealand forests for ecosystem conservation purposes and to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis. Although various procedures have been implemented to reduce the incidence of bird kills, dead birds continue to be found after poison operations.
We describe the recovery of an 88-m² area of sooty shearwater breeding habitat on Northeast Island, The Snares, New Zealand, during the eight breeding seasons after it was completely destroyed by excavation in December 1996. Burrow entrance density did not differ between the destroyed site and three comparison sites one year after the event. We detected breeding attempts of shearwaters in the season following disturbance, but burrow occupant density recovered more slowly, perhaps because the overall population density was declining over the same period.