New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1984) 7: 131- 138

Observations on Foods of Kiore (Rattus exulans) Found in Husking Stations on Northern Offshore Islands of New Zealand

Research Article
D. J. Campbell 1
H. Moller 1
G. W. Ramsay 2
J. C. Watt 2
  1. Ecology Division, DSIR, Private Bag, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  2. Entomology Division, DSIR, Mt Albert Research Centre, Private Bag, Auckland, New Zealand.

Kiore (Rattus exulans) carry food to husking stations to feed, where they are sheltered from predators, competitors and rain. On four northern offshore islands of New Zealand remains of plant foods left in husking stations and in the open included seeds, leaf laminae, shoots, bark, flowers and root bases. A wide variety of animal remains were identified in husking station material, from habitats as diverse as tree tops and below the ground. All stages of both small social and large solitary insects were eaten. Use of husking station material is a new technique; the advantages and limitations of which are discussed.