Forest restoration is an activity that can be readily undertaken to address both the climate and biodiversity crises. In Aotearoa New Zealand, aspirations for large-scale native forest restoration are growing across governmental and private sectors and a considerable focus to date has been on forest establishment by actively planting native trees.
Cattle (Bos taurus) were introduced to 11 268 ha Campbell Island/Motu Ihupuku in 1902 as part of a short-lived farming venture that was abandoned by 1931. The cattle were left to fend for themselves and a small feral population of 10–20 animals persisted for 53 years. The population was largely limited to a small area (c. 440 ha) of the island noted for its limestone geology. Ecological damage was pronounced with churning of the soil, damage to vegetation and probable impact on seabird nesting.
New Zealand manages five island groups in the Southern Ocean New Zealand subantarctic region: The Snares (Tini Heke), Bounty Islands, Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands (Motu Maha or Maungahuka) and Campbell Island / Motu Ihupuku. Charted by Europeans in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, their preservation commenced in the early 20th century and restoration in the late 20th century.
The incorporation of native, woody vegetation into New Zealand’s agricultural ecosystems offers a “nature-based solution” approach for mitigating poor environmental outcomes of land use practices, biodiversity loss, and the accelerating effects of climatic change. However, to achieve this at scale requires a systematic framework for scoping, assessing, and targeting native revegetation opportunities in a way that addresses national-scale priorities, supports landscape-scale ecological processes, and recognises that land use decisions are made at farm-scales by landowners.
The use of herbicide to control weeds in natural areas can cause non-target damage to resident native plant communities and compromise native restoration goals. We tested 'full' and 'reduced' (half) rates of herbicide (rates based on previous glasshouse trials) on the ground cover weed species tradescantia (Tradescantia fluminensis), plectranthus (Plectranthus ciliatus), and climbing asparagus (Asparagus scandens) to determine whether the reduced rate would cause less non-target damage to natives and achieve sufficient control of the weeds.
Numerous conservation projects in New Zealand aim to reduce populations of invasive mammalian predators to facilitate the recovery of native species. However, results of control efforts are often uncertain due to insufficient monitoring. Remote cameras have the potential to monitor multiple species of invasive mammals. To determine the efficiency of cameras as a multi-species monitoring tool, we compared the detection rates of remote cameras and tracking tunnels over 4 non-consecutive days across 40 sites in Wellington.
Pinus contorta is a widespread and ecologically damaging invasive tree in the southern hemisphere. Land managers want control methods that limit reinvasion by P. contorta and promote the recovery of native plant communities and ecosystem functions. Recovery of native vegetation may be slow if native seed supply is limited and/or introduced mammals destroy seeds and seedlings. We investigated how tree control method (felling or poisoning), seed addition, and exclusion of introduced mammals affected subsequent seedling establishment in montane stands of invasive P.
Factors controlling vegetation restoration of depleted short-tussock grasslands are poorly understood. We investigated effects of mouse-ear hawkweed (‘hawkweed’, Pilosella officinarum) cover and environmental stress associated with landform and soil type on the rate and pattern of indigenous vegetation recovery from grazing in the highly-modified 1000-ha Lake Tekapo Scientific Reserve in the north of the Upper Waitaki (‘Mackenzie’) Basin. The reserve has been destocked of sheep and under effective rabbit control since 1992.
The size and distribution of colonies of burrow-nesting petrels is thought to be limited partly by the availability of suitable breeding habitat and partly by predation. Historically, the availability of safe nesting habitat was restricted in New Zealand, due to the introduction of rats by humans. More recently, however, habitat has been restored by rat eradication. Petrel colony growth is mediated by both positive and negative density dependence, although it is unclear if, or how, density dependence will affect patterns in post-eradication colony recovery.
Restoration of urban forest remnants is an increasing activity worldwide, but the effects of restoration efforts on local wildlife in urban remnants remain poorly understood. Understanding the benefits of restoration can also be confounded because of difficulties in monitoring the abundance of representative species, or understanding their ecological requirements.