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.
The results of a survey of the presence and populations of the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) and the Polynesian rat or kiore (Rattus exulans) on 35- islands off the New Zealand coast are presented and discussed. Tuataras were found on 23 of these, and on six they occur with kiore. The age distributions and densities of the tuatara populations suggest that decline because of failure of recruitment is occurring on seven—the six kiore -inhabited islands and one other.
Understanding the factors that influence patterns of ectoparasite infestation within wildlife populations involves knowledge of the mechanisms that influence host infestation. For ectoparasitic ticks, knowing where ticks might occur in the off-host environment and how they locate their hosts is essential to understanding patterns of ectoparasite infestation. The tuatara tick (Amblyomma sphenodonti) parasitises the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) on Stephens Island, New Zealand.