Cross-fostering of the Chatham Island black robin
- Wildlife Service, Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington, New Zealand
[This is a resume of a paper read at the Ecological Society Conference, 1982.]
The Chatham Island black robin (Petroica traversi) is now one of the world's rarest birds. It disappeared from the larger islands of the Chatham group following European colonisation last century and for about 90 years survived only on Little Mangere Island, a 200 m high islet capped with approximately 5 ha of scrub and forest. In the early 1970's, the forest of Little Mangere degenerated rapidly and the robin population plummetted from 18 birds in 1973 to seven (two pairs, three males) in 1976. The survivors were then relocated in 4 ha of remnant forest on nearby Mangere Island where, prior to their introduction, over 120,000 Olearia traversi had been planted by the Wildlife Service to ultimately establish a new forest habitat for the birds.