Movements and habitat connectivity of New Zealand forest birds: a review of available data

New Zealand’s original forested landscape has been greatly fragmented since human arrival, limiting connectivity and habitat quality for forest-dependent fauna. We review the limited available information about forest bird movement behaviour, especially whole-year sociality and movement, natal dispersal, and pasture- and water-gap crossing. Most small insectivores (17 species) and North Island kōkako are territorial year-round, but frugivore-nectivores (three species), raptors (two species), and volant parrots (four species) can be highly mobile, presumably to find scattered food.

Spatial patterns and habitat use of penned and hard-released arboreal geckos translocated to an offshore island free of introduced mammals

Temporary penning prior to release is a strategy increasingly being used in lizard translocations to improve site fidelity and increase chances of translocation success. However, it is yet to be tested on a range of lizard taxa. Between 2015 and 2018, 49 individuals of a New Zealand endemic arboreal gecko species (ngahere gecko, Mokopirirakau “southern North Island”) were translocated to mammal-free Mana Island near Wellington as mitigation for a development project.

Penned release reduces area use by translocated barking geckos (Naultinus punctatus)

Globally, translocations of herpetofauna have been notoriously unsuccessful. Most previous translocations of green geckos (Naultinus spp.) have failed to result in population establishment. However, recent penned releases of jewelled geckos (moko kākāriki; Naultinus gemmeus) have led to increased site fidelity, reduced dispersal, reduced home range sizes, and reduced minimum daily movements, facilitating population establishment.

The reconnection between mana whenua and urban freshwaters to restore the mouri / life force of the Kaiwharawhara

Kei Aotearoa nei kua roa noa atu ngā tāngata taketake e noho matapopore ana ki o rātou whenua, maunga, moana, roto, awa, kūkūwai me ērā atu pūnaha hauropi wai Māori hoki. I te tau 2017 i tīmatahia e Te Māra a Tāne he kaupapa haere-kōtui i te taha o te iwi manawhenua a Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika, me ētahi atu hoa haere-kōtui hoki, me kore ake pea ka whakahoungia te hauropi wai Māori, ngahere hoki o te awa Kaiwharawhara me tōna rohenga wai. Ko tēnei te rohenga wai tino nui rawa i roto i te taone matua o Te Whanganui-a-Tara, ā, he mea kairangi tonu ki te iwi, ki te ao hauropi hoki.

The first recorded interaction between two species separated for centuries suggests they were ecological competitors

Human-induced reductions in species’ ranges have resulted in the geographic separation of some previously sympatric species that interacted historically. Some previously co-occurring species are now being reconnected via translocation. However, interactions between these species can be difficult to predict, particularly in extreme instances where all populations of previously co-occurring species have become completely separated from each other.

Effect of supplementary feeding on reproductive success of hihi (stitchbird, Notiomystis cincta) at a mature forest reintroduction site

Supplementary feeding has proven to be a successful conservation tool for many species, including New Zealand’s hihi (stitchbird, Notiomystis cincta). Previous research has shown supplementary feeding to substantially increase hihi reproductive success at regenerating forest sites, but suggested that it would have reduced benefit in mature forest habitat. Here we report the first direct test of the effect of supplementary feeding on hihi reproductive success in mature forest, using data from the recently reintroduced population at Maungatautari Ecological Island.

Avian malaria in introduced, native and endemic New Zealand bird species in a mixed ecosystem

Avian malaria, caused by Plasmodium spp., has been reported as a cause of morbidity and mortality in New Zealand bird populations. The prevalence of Plasmodium lineages in the Waimarino Forest was evaluated in NZ robins (Petroica longipes), other passerines, blue ducks (Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos), and brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli), using nested PCR. The presence of P. sp. lineage LINN1, P. (Huffia) elongatum lineage GRW06 and P. (Novyella) sp.

A review of reptile research and conservation management on Tiritiri Matangi Island, New Zealand

Tiritiri Matangi Island is one of the oldest community-driven island restoration projects in New Zealand. While great effort has been directed towards recovery of vegetation and avian communities since the 1980s, restoration of the island’s reptile fauna has not been initiated until early 2000s. Tiritiri Matangi supports only three remnant reptile species, which is considerably low given the island’s size and geographic location. In recognition of this and the importance of reptiles in ecosystem function, translocations of several reptile species have been undertaken.

Habitat complexity and management intensity positively influence fledging success in the endangered hihi (Notiomystis cincta)

Age and structure of local vegetation (habitat complexity) are commonly assumed to be indicators of habitat quality for breeding birds, but for many species these relationships are poorly understood. The hihi (stitchbird Notiomystis cincta),an endangered New Zealand cavity-nesting passerine that only survives on mammalian predator-free islands or within fenced areas, has been the focus of intensive conservation management and research. Between 1992 and 2004 we examined the fledging success of 347 nests from four island populations.

Are introduced takahe populations on offshore islands at carrying capacity? Implications for genetic management

Translocation to island reserves is a common strategy in New Zealand and elsewhere for safeguarding species against introduced predators. When successful, however, the closed nature and relatively small size of many island sanctuaries can result in populations quickly reaching their carrying capacity, which in itself can present further challenges such as reduced productivity and population growth rates associated with density-dependent effects as well as increased rates of inbreeding.