Tiritiri Matangi Island is a Scientific Reserve located in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. In 1986, two years after the start of a ten-year planting programme on the island, members of the Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Auckland, began a monitoring programme of the bird populations. A biannual survey scheme commenced in April 1987, counting birds on predetermined transects and at listening posts. This paper focuses on the spring dataset (November) to provide an overview of changes in relative abundance of birds from 1987 to 2010.
Tiritiri Matangi Island has attained an international profile as a successful ecological restoration project, and is often cited as a model of environmental stewardship. Ecological restoration on the island has always involved, and been dependent on, voluntary public involvement. Public participation in the project not only reinforces existing links between the public and scientific communities, but also facilitates even greater understanding of ecological concepts outside the professional and academic worlds.
Forty years since the cessation of grazing on Tiritiri Matangi, the island has been transformed by a restoration programme. However, a big question remained: What the island would have looked like if restoration had not occurred? This study addresses that question. Some sections of the island were deliberately not restored and allowed to regenerate naturally to provide a reference point for the changes brought about by direct intervention. In one area a transect of plots was available in which species composition and frequency information had been measured in a pre-restoration state.
Tiritiri Matangi Island is a scientific reserve in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand that has a long history of degradation from human occupation. The ecological restoration of the island commenced in 1984, with revegetation, species translocations and management of invasive species. Ecological restoration projects are, in essence, experimental in that the restoration outcomes are not known. Thus, they offer opportunities for formal research to run parallel with the restoration process, to track, assess and critique ecological manipulations and the resulting outcomes.
The effectiveness of line- and point-transect distance sampling methods was compared for estimating the density of a conspicuous endemic passerine, the North Island saddleback Philesturnus carunculatus rufusater, in two forest habitats on Tiritiri Matangi Island, Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. The reference population abundance in each habitat was calculated through an intensive capture, colour-banding, and resighting effort.