Index to the Rare Bits Newsletters about Threatened Species Work


Contents


Section Page

Introduction ii

Summary of Main Points ii

  1. Predators 1

  2. Possum effects on biodiversity 6

  3. Threats to plant species 12

  4. Threats to animal species 21

  5. Predator plagues 26

  6. Stoat trapping 30

  7. Rat trapping 39

  8. Cat control 42

  9. Possum trapping 44

  10. Mouse control 46

  11. Weasel trapping 48

  12. Ferret trapping 48

  13. Hedgehog trapping 49

  14. Pig control 50

  15. Deer control 50

  16. Fish trapping 50

  17. Trap by-catch 51

  18. Plant caging/banding 52

  19. Aerial poisoning 54

  20. Delays due to poison use 60

  21. Biodiversity loss 62

  22. Translocations 79

  23. Risks to translocated animals 97

  24. Radio transmitters 102

  25. Other interference 112

  26. Kiwi management 120

  27. Whio management 136

  28. Kakapo management 142

  29. New species 143

  30. Dog uses 144

  31. Community involvement 146

    Introduction


    From April 2000 to December 2004, quarterly newsletters (“Rare Bits”) on threatened species work with contributions from each regional conservancy were produced by the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DoC). These newsletters provide an insight into the actions DoC was taking to conserve our rare species and the success or otherwise of those efforts.


    This Index of the Rare Bits newsletters is a collection of quotes from those documents which has been created to identify threats to native species, and management failures and successes, to help guide future conservation efforts.


    The newsletters contain compelling evidence that much of DoC’s management was having devastating effects on biodiversity, and was desperately lacking a science-based approach.


    Our remaining native species need all the genetic diversity they have if they are to survive forthcoming challenges such as drought, storms, disease and habitat modification, therefore they should be managed with extreme care.


    The newsletters also show that trapping pests (rather than poisoning) is entirely feasible, but that sudden alterations to the ecosystem are likely to have harmful and catastrophic results, especially if done in an unintelligent way, such as just removing stoats, or cats. Bait stations containing poison kill native species (see the Agency’s Appendix O in the Environmental Risk Management Authority’s review of 1080, 2007) and some traps do as well (see the “by-catch” section in the current document) so future efforts to control pests should record by-catch and continuously strive towards complete species-specificity.


    Summary of Main Points


Summary of Main Points (continued)


Vol., Date Page Conservancy

Predator


1. Predation Quotes


44 Apr-02


6


Waikato


birds

New Zealand dotterel: The early season nest predation was most likely from aerial predators and ceased when nests were covered.


37 Jun -00


13


Wellington


cats, weka

Chatham Island oystercatcher: predation events..recorded on video..2 clutches of eggs were predated by a cat and 1 clutch of eggs predated by a weka.


51 Dec -03


17


Southland


cats

Rakiura (Stewart Island): the hoiho may slowly be disappearing from Rakiura. Cats are suspected of playing a role here, possibly killing chicks before they leave the nest.


51 Dec -03


3


Waikato


cats, dogs

To date we have lost eight of the 38 birds from the pateke release at Port Charles. Autopsy has confirmed that four were killed by cat(s)..one was killed by a dog


44 Apr-02


9


East Coast/ Hawke's Bay


cats, stoats

North Island weka: Of the four dead birds, three were predated by stoats and the other was either predated or scavenged by a cat. From the Motu area, three juveniles are still alive. Of the other two birds, one had wandered two kilometres beyond the trapped area and was predated by a stoat.

40 Mar-01

6

Wellington

cats, weka

Chatham Island oystercatchers: Predation by cats and weka, and stock trampling were the main causes of failure.


53 Jun -04


9


Wanganui


dogs

An adult kiwi and chick died as a result of a dog attack in northern Taranaki. This is the latest in a series of deaths as a result of dog predation

50 Sep -03

4

Waikato

dogs, cats

pateke: Four birds have been lost to predation: one likely to a dog, and the others to a cat(s).

55 Dec -04

3

Northland

dogs, mustelids

pateke: suffered losses to dogs, mustelids and unknown causes


49 Jun -03


20


Otago


falcons, weka

weka on Te Peka Karara in Lake Wanaka.. of the 30 birds bought over from the Chathams..one was killed by a falcon...Nine other chicks were killed near the aviary by other weka.


38 Sep -00


6

East Coast/ Hawke's Bay


ferrets, pigs


kiwi: Mount Ruapehu: at least three deaths (ferret, pig & misadventure)


55 Dec -04


9

Tongariro/ Taupo


ferrets


Two kiwi were killed in August by a ferret


37 Jun -00


5


Northland


harriers

(Kokako) There were only 3 nesting attempts this season: 1 failed owing to a suspected harrier predation; 1 was suspected to have infertile eggs (and was also suspected to have been preyed on by a harrier)

44 Apr -02

24

Kapiti Island

harriers

kokako: One nest was apparently preyed on by an Australasian harrier hawk.


36 Apr-00


5


Northland


harriers

Kokako in Northland had a very poor breeding season: only three nesting attempts out of 14 pairs that were checked. Of those, only one was successful, the others were suspected to have been preyed by harriers.


41 Jun -01


2


Northland


harriers

Brown teal: About a month ago, seven captive-reared brown teal were released..Predator control had been in place for several months by the time of release, and supplementary food was provided. A month on and six of the seven are still alive. The one death is suspected to have been harrier predation

44 Apr-02

3

Northland

harriers

kokako: harriers are thought to be responsible for many nest failures in this area.

53 Jun -04

10

Wellington

harriers

Kokako: The bird whose demise was reported last issue is now thought to have been the victim of a harrier.

55 Dec -04

11

Tongariro/

harriers, spur-

New Zealand dotterel: a marked increase in numbers. However, nest failures are still unacceptably high, with harriers and

Vol., Date Page Conservancy Predator


Taupo

winged plovers

spur-winged plovers featuring highly as predators, in addition to the usual run of predators


44 Apr-02


21


Otago


hedgehogs

Central Otago Area staff have been surveying new areas on the Hawkdun Range for scree skinks, without success so far. An interesting find was evidence of hedgehog predation of lizards at relatively high altitude on the range


43 Dec-01


17

Tiritiri Matangi Island


morepork


hihi: Two adult males have been found dead, one had no head (thought to have been preyed on by a morepork)


43 Dec-01


18


Tiritiri Matangi Island


morepork

Approximately 50 adults have been seen this season and 55 fledglings have been recorded. Although chick production appears to be much the same as last season, four female have died during nesting compared with zero last year. Several toutouwai bands have been found underneath morepork roosts and nests

37 Jun -00

10

Wanganui

mustelids

Whio: birds have succumbed to predation from stoats or ferrets


53 Jun -04


12


Canterbury


mustelids

titi/sooty shearwater: There was no sign of any chicks alive, and four dead chicks were found inside the burrows. Their ripped out throats pointed to mustelid predation, confirmed by stoat scats and a small hole forced between the netting and fence posts.


38 Sep -00


14

mustelids, falcons, harriers

Whirinaki Forest Park: radio-tagging kereru..(44.4%) have died..the following are the assumed causes: 5 killed by cats, 6 killed by mustelids, 5 killed by falcon/ harrier


36 Apr-00


11

Tongariro/ Taupo


pigs, ferrets


The Tongariro Forest Kiwi: One bird has been killed by a pig, another by a ferret


49 Jun -03


9


Tongariro/ Taupo


possums, stoats

kiwi: We named the chick Possum, a fitting name as another nest due to be robbed on the same day was predated by a suspected possum!.. eight have returned to the forest, one of these was predated by a stoat..Eight chicks successfully hatched in the wild: four were predated by stoats..new chicks were..released back into their parental territory in Tongariro forest. Three were predated by stoats


54 Sep -04


13


West Coast


possums, thrushes, rats

Powelliphanta: numbers have decreased. An analysis of empty and damaged shells showed that mortality resulted from predation by song thrush, rat and possum. Populations at the other two sites were also considered to be low and damaged shells were again found.

40 Mar-01

5

Wellington

prions

Chatham Island petrels:two were killed by visiting broad-billed prions.


36 Apr-00


16

Nelson/ Marlborough


rats

The Mt Stokes mohua population has dropped dramatically...Predation by ship rats is thought to be the cause of the sudden decline


37 Jun -00


15

Nelson/ Marlborough


rats


[Rhydita oconnori,] Although large numbers of shells were found..almost all of them had been recently eaten by rats.


39 Dec-00


15


Southland


rats

Mohua Rat numbers are very high in the Eglinton Valley and appear to be causing heavy predation of mohua in the Eglinton this year.


43 Dec-01


1


Northland


rats

Placostylus ambagiosus subsp. Paraspiritus colony: Norway rats invaded a small island (Snail Rock) off Purerua Peninsula about six months ago and seriously depleted the snails (P. hongii) there. Instead of well in excess of 100 snails, just 15 were found this time


53 Jun -04


1


Big South Cape Island


rats

In March 1964 muttonbirders returning to Big South Cape reported that a ship rat plague was causing immense damage to property and wildlife on their island..but by the time we reached Big South Cape (five months after the first reports) many land bird populations had already been almost totally destroyed.. Sadly, we were too late to save the bush wren, snipe and


bat, all of which were quickly exterminated along with an unknown number of invertebrate taxa.


55 Dec -04


12

Nelson/ Marlborough


rats

Recent monitoring of plots shows Rhytida oconnori, a Nationally Endangered terrestrial snail, continues to decline and is in urgent need of protection from predators; the main culprit is likely to be rats.


51 Dec -03


12

Nelson/ Marlborough


rats, cats

black-fronted terns (BFTs): all eggs destroyed within the colony. Rats appear to have been the culprit. An incubating adult that was killed, probably by a cat, has also been found in another colony.


36 Apr-00


16


Nelson/ Marlborough


rats, cuckoo

The Mt Stokes mohua population has dropped dramatically. At the end of the 1998-99 summer there were around 90 birds, but now numbers are estimated at 27, of which only 6 are female. Predation by ship rats is thought to be the cause of the sudden decline. This may have occurred during winter if the birds also roost in cavities. Cuckoo parasitism was an added problem.


36 Apr-00


10


East Coast/ Hawke's Bay


rats, falcons

The restoration phase of the Boundary Stream Mainland Island Project continues to gain momentum as the sustained reduction of pests and predators, produces visible changes to both plant and birdlife..Given the additional pressure from rats this season which were implicated in the higher number of failed nests this year, a 55% nesting success is considered a favorable result..As introduced predators are displaced it would appear native predators are making the most of the opportunity, e.g. a pair of NZ falcon known to have nested in the reserve.


42 Oct -01


2


Northland


rats, mice

Kaitaia Area staff have been busy setting up a new project to protect the Te Paki flax snail (Placostylus ambagiosus) populations from rodent predation..There will be four treatment sites to start with; two where rats and mice will be trapped, and two where we will trap only rats.


49 Jun -03


5


Waikato


rodents

After discovering a concerning number of rodent-predated frogs, Maniapoto Area Office is beginning rat control in parts of Whareorino Forest to protect Archey's frog


45 Jun-02


8


Wanganui

rodents, mustelids

Powelliphanta traversi tarauensis : shells showing signs of rodent predation were found. Powelliphanta ‘Egmont’: One shell showed signs of predation by a mustelid (probably a stoat)

37 Jun -00

5

Auckland

stoats

The Hunua kokako project: 1 had paired with a resident male she had been killed during winter by a stoat.

37 Jun -00

7

Waikato

stoats

The kiwi chick.. Tester was from a 2-egg clutch, but its sibling (21 days older), was killed by a stoat about the same time.


37 Jun -00


1

Nelson/ Marlborough


stoats


kaka: Nelson Lakes National Park: 4 of 7 radio-tagged females were killed on the nest by predators, probably stoats.


37 Jun -00


16


West Coast


stoats

Karangarua and Copland Valleys: Two more birds found last week showed the cause of death was predation. Both had puncture wounds on the back of their skulls. Stoats are presumed to be the likely predator.


44 Apr-02


9


Tongariro/ Taupo


stoats

Four months after an effective possum and rat knock-down by a 20,000-ha aerial 1080 operation over Tongariro Forest, stoats reappeared in the centre of the forest and began killing kiwi chicks. So far five of the 11 chicks have been predated, and all in the centre of the treatment area.

45 Jun -02

13

West Coast

stoats

rowi: Stoats were implicated in at least 12 of the 14 kiwi chick deaths that occurred this year.

46 Sep -02

7

West Coast

stoats

Haast tokoeka: Within two weeks of hatching two chicks were predated by stoats and another was predated at 45 days old.

47 Dec -02

4

Waikato

stoats

The Pureora Field Centre is monitoring radio tagged kaka: Nine of these were probably (some certainly) killed by stoats.

48 Apr -03

11

West Coast

stoats

Haast tokoeka: Three of the chicks were subsequently killed by stoats


48 Apr -03


12


West Coast


stoats

The current rowi breeding season has been very disappointing. All 14 of the monitored chicks were dead by early January, with stoat predation being the major cause.


48 Apr -03

15

Southland

stoats

kiwi: three [chicks] were predated by stoats... five were predated by stoats


49 Jun -03


1


stoats

whio: Research in Fiordland over the last three years identified stoats preying on nesting females, chicks and eggs, as the greatest threat to the species.

51 Dec -03

6

Bay of Plenty

stoats

Kiwi: One chick released into the forest at 950 grams has since been predated by a stoat

51 Dec -03

11

Wanganui

stoats

whio: An angler reported a stoat attack on a duckling.


52 Mar -04


8


Bay of Plenty


stoats

The Matakana Island dotterel: Stoats were responsible for the death of a number of dotterel and variable oystercatcher chicks and also took some dotterel eggs at Panepane Point.. there were 30 dotterel nests on the Maketu Spit but sadly not one chick fledged. No predator control operations took place at this site due to a lack of resources and other complications


52 Mar -04


11

East Coast/ Hawke's Bay


stoats


weka: 40% (n=10) and 8% (n=12) of monitored juveniles were killed by stoats in the Whitikau and Motu valleys respectively.

52 Mar -04

21

West Coast

stoats

Haast Tokoeka: four showed signs of stoat predation.

52 Mar -04

27

Southland

stoats

kiwi: Six of the seven chicks that have died were confirmed stoat kills.


55 Dec -04


17


Southland


stoats

Kiwi monitoring in the stoat trapped and non-trapped blocks of the Murchison Mountains is progressing, with some chicks having now hatched and several birds still incubating. Last week the first sign of stoat predation was picked up with one, possibly two, chicks having been preyed upon in the non-trapped area


39 Dec-00


7

East Coast/ Hawke's Bay


stoats, cats


The NI weka project: recorded predation events were attributed to stoats (4) and feral cats (3).


39 Dec-00


6


East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

stoats, hedgehogs, black- backed gulls,

spur-winged plovers


NZ dotterel: Three main breeding sites were monitored in the Opotiki Area..there was 1 pair at Waiotahi, 3 pairs at Waioweka, and 7 pairs at Waiaua. A total of 21 nesting attempts were made by 11 pairs with 23 chicks known to have hatched from 46 eggs this season. Predators..were stoats, hedgehogs, black backed gulls, and spur winged plover.


39 Dec-00


15


Southland


stoats, possums

Whio: A stoat destroyed one of the nests and the female survived, while the other female managed to defend her nest from a stoat and a possum although the stoat stole one egg. A third female was thought to have just begun incubating when she was killed, she was found pulled under a rock with stoat scats surrounding her.


38 Sep -00


1

stoats, rats, falcons

Eglinton Valley: This season we lost three nests, one with eggs and two with chicks, and 2 females were killed probably by a stoat..Mohua: 10 [nests]failed (female killed) - 6 rat predation - 1 probably falcon


44 Apr-02


2


Northland


trout, smelt

It was concluded that any proposed restoration programmes for land-locked koaro needs to enhance the survival of these life stages, and manage the combined effects of trout and common smelt in both lake and respective tributary stream habitats


51 Dec -03


14


West Coast


thrushes

Powelliphanta annectens is one of the largest giant land snail species. The Heaphy subpopulation is restricted to the area around the Heaphy River mouth, but is abundant and increasing further due to annual ground control for possums. During late winter and early spring, Buller Area Office staff became aware of exceptionally high numbers of P. annectens snails being eaten by thrush at three localised sites on the Heaphy Track. On 15 August, 477 shells were collected from the sites. The majority of the snails had been killed within the previous 3–4 weeks. Over the next 2 months the sites were checked every 2–3 weeks and the empty shells collected. By 13 October, over 1,700 snails had been killed. No decline in the rate of


predation was found

51 Dec -03

19

Southland

weka

Whio: Two nests have been preyed on by weka so far this season


44 Apr-02


13


Wellington


stoats

The wild kaka population at Mt Bruce: The two natural nest sites were unsuccessful – one was breached by a stoat, which killed two chicks..Despite predator control over 75ha, two adults, two chicks and two fledglings have been lost; stoats look to be the main culprits.


37 Jun -00 4

48 Apr -03 4


45 Jun-02 4 Auckland


41 Jun -01 7 Bay of Plenty


48 Apr -03 5 Bay of Plenty


  1. Apr -03 5 Bay of Plenty


  2. Jun -03 6 Bay of Plenty


  3. Sep -03 5 Bay of Plenty


  1. Mar -04 7 Bay of Plenty


  2. Jun -04 5 Bay of Plenty

image

2. Possum Effects on Biodiversity Quotes

Monitoring of Dactylanthus..At Te Kopia, even with low possum numbers following last winter’s 1080 operation any uncaged flowers were still destroyed.

kokako: Hunua Ranges Management Block: There were seven nesting attempts, of which five failed due to flooding and suspected harrier and possum predation.

Moturemu Island: there are a number of seedlings that have germinated from the natural seedbank on the island. These are in a natural tree gap that has been kept open by trimming back native foliage (pohutukawa and houpara). [browsing increasing biodiversity]

Dactylanthus: where most plants are caged, flowering was average with little sign of animal activity... where only a few plants are caged, flowering was monitored to see what effect the previous winter’s 1080 operation would have on flowering success. With significant flower damage occurring as expected, a trapper was employed, and nine possums were removed from the area, four of which had bracts present in their stomachs. This possum cull enabled some of the later developing flowers to survive..On the Mamaku plateau a possum gut survey occurred in late March in several reserves where Dactylanthus was thought to be present. Although several possum stomachs were investigated for staining none contained Dactylanthus flowers.

discovery of Peraxilla tetrapetala on Quintinia serrata at the northern Mamaku plateau in the Opuiaki Ecological Area (part of the Kaimai- Mamaku Forest Park), and in Te Kopia Scenic Reserve on the Paeroa Range near Reporoa. The Opuiaki find consisted of two large healthy plants which were flowering profusely in late January, and were discovered by staff working in the area in preparation for laying bait stations. The Te Kopia find consisted of seven large plants near the main ridge. The size of these plants enabled them to be found outside the flowering season in mid-March. The unusual aspect of both these discoveries is that occurred in areas with relatively high possum populations and little or no historic possum control. Despite this, all the plants seen were old and large and appeared relatively healthy with no possum browse noted.

Okareka Mistletoe Restoration Project; a joint effort between DOC, Environment BOP, Forest & Bird and the Rotorua Botanical Society..Forest

& Bird have been focusing on laying grided bait stations covering part of the reserve. The Rotorua Botanical Society is focused on undertaking weed control. DOC has been establishing Foliar Browse Monitoring for the mistletoe population. This has shown that while plants are generally in good condition in this part of the reserve, they are highly localised. It is hoped that when the possum population is brought under control, the mistletoe population will be able to spread further through suitable habitat in the reserve

Dactylanthus: At Waione (in Whirinaki) extensive trapping and poisoning was undertaken in the vicinity of the Dactylanthus population during flowering. Possum damage was still noted, but probably happened before and after control occurred.

Ileostylus on mangeao at Oropi, near Tauranga: the Ileostylus was found on two large old trees in a paddock: at least nine possum browsed mistletoe were found on one tree, while the other tree (and mistletoe) were nearly dead.

Kaharoa Forest was treated using feracol in bait stations for rat control, but.. numbers were not reduced to the required level. Furthermore, the kokako breeding season was very poor for a number of reasons. Onaia Ecological Area (EA) rodent results were 6% r.t.i (West Block) and 13% r.t.i (East Block). Possum numbers were kept to the 5% threshold (per 100 trap nights).

Dactylanthus: The northern site hadn’t been checked for several years and cage maintenance was needed. Four and 14 cages were added at the northern and southern sites respectively. Flower monitoring showed less buds with more male and female flowers than in 2003, with low rates of possum and rat damage..Whirinaki Forest Park: Some good examples of flowering outside cages were found at the main site near Waione as a result of our regular intense possum control during flowering time

55 Dec -04 6 Bay of Plenty In late September, staff spent three days in Whirinaki Forest Park monitoring existing mistletoe plants in the Rogers-Mangakahika-Moerangi


areas of the park..of 27 Peraxilla colensoi plants monitored regularly since 1999, 20 (74%) were dead, 2 (7%) were unhealthy (<50% foliage cover) and 3 (11%) were missing (experience strongly suggests these are dead or nearly dead). Only 2 (7%) of plants were still healthy (>50% foliage cover). This widely spread sample of P. colensoi shows a 15% average annual death rate over the 5 year monitoring period. This monitoring shows the ongoing decline of P. colensoi throughout the silver beech forest areas of the park where there is no possum control. The timing of monitoring differed this year, occurring in September rather than in January as in past years. Furthermore, significantly higher rates of possum browse on live mistletoe plants were found when comparing the January 2002 and September 2004 survey.. Many monitored plants had also died over this period, so could not be used for this analysis. This appears to confirm that the causal agent of the decline recorded over the past 5 years is most likely to be possums browsing mistletoe plants, mainly during the winter months


49 Jun -03


16


Canterbury

Periegops suteri: The primary cause of decline for this species is likely to be a reduction in suitable habitat. There are few remnants of mature forest remaining on Banks Peninsula and these are under considerable threat due to their small size and the impacts of weeds and pests. In some reserves.. the leaf litter layer in which it lives is regularly swept away by flooding. The spiders are also likely to be eaten by animal pests such as hedgehogs, cats, rats, mice and possums


53 Jun -04


14


Canterbury

Quail Island: The removal of predators including mustelids, cats, hedgehogs, possums, rats and mice from the island has provided an opportunity to restore a number of native invertebrate species


38 Sep -00


6

East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

It seems this species [Tupeia Antarctica, mistletoe] is a particularly sensitive measure of possum impact. Foliar browse methodology showed that 62% of 79 plants had no leaves at all 5 years after an October 1995 aerial possum control operation.


42 Oct -01


8


East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

This was the fifth season of monitoring pirirangi (red mistletoe, Peraxilla tetrapetala) hosted on Quintinia at the Otamatuna Core Area. Pirirangi numbers have continued to increase, since intensive management of pests commenced in 1996. The flowering period was slightly longer in length, than previous seasons. Flowering started later than the past two seasons and was more akin to the initial two seasons of monitoring.

Surveys were not conducted for pirirangi hosted on tawai (red beech), as five out of six known plants did not flower.


44 Apr-02


9


East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

North Island weka: East Cape Peninsula: The first area is in the Motu Valley, between Gisborne and Opotiki where trapping for mustelids, cats and possums takes place. The second area is in the Whitikau Valley about 20 km north of Motu. This area is un-trapped and serves as a control to measure the success of the trapping regime.. Only one of the Whitikau juveniles is still alive. Of the four dead birds, three were predated by stoats and the other was either predated or scavenged by a cat. From the Motu area, three juveniles are still alive. Of the other two birds, one had wandered two kilometres beyond the trapped area and was predated by a stoat.


46 Sep -02


3

East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

Boundary Stream’s biennial [Powelliphanta] snail survey: Unfortunately this year’s survey has shown a 58% decrease in numbers, although only one of the empty shells found shown signs of predation


51 Dec -03


7


East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

Boundary Stream Mainland Island staff have discovered three plants of the mistletoe Tupeia antarctica, growing on a putaputaweta (Carpodetus serratus) host tree. This species was not previously known to exist in the reserve, although populations are found elsewhere in the Hawke’s Bay. An extensive search is in progress to determine the population size. Intensive possum control has occurred in the reserve for 8 years, and mistletoes are benefiting; the yellow-flowered mistletoe (Alepis flavida) has increased from five to 50 known plants


52 Mar -04


11

East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

Dactylanthus taylori: Intensive trapping for rats and possums, and opportunistic stoat trapping, makes this locality a mainland island in all but name.


43 Dec-01


11


Nelson/ Marlborough

Monitoring of the transplanted Carmichaelia juncea on the Kahurangi coast showed devastation wreaked by introduced slugs. Wellgrown specimens, planted into salt turf and clifftops during winter are now stumps. Browse inside mesh cages showed slugs as the culprits. Previously similar damage was attributed to hares and possums.. Typical damage involves removing leaf and flower buds, chewing small shoots and stems



43 Dec-01


11

Nelson/ Marlborough

Pittosporum patulum: ..Possum control and Marley™ pipe protectors have allowed a return to health over the last three years for most of the 50 trees in the study area.


52 Mar -04


16

Nelson/ Marlborough

Powelliphanta "Anatoki Range": The number of snails appears to be similar to when it was last surveyed in 1991, and it appeared that none of the empty shells were predated by possums or rats. The main threat seems to be habitat degradation by hares and goats


55 Dec -04


12


Nelson/ Marlborough

Recent monitoring of plots shows Rhytida oconnori, a Nationally Endangered terrestrial snail, continues to decline and is in urgent need of protection from predators; the main culprit is likely to be rats. On the other hand, sustained possum control through aerial applications of 1080 is starting to have a very pronounced benefit for many Powelliphanta populations in Golden Bay


40 Mar-01


2


Northland

A large part of Whirinaki Forest Park has been surveyed over January in order to gain a better understanding of the distribution and threats to Peraxilla spp. [Mistletoe] Monitoring of existing plants showed many are in poor condition with loss of foliage that doesn’t appear to be possum related.


44 Apr-02


3


Northland

The 2001/02 kokako breeding season was a slow one in Mataraua. Three nests were found in late November and early December; one of these produced two chicks, the other two nests failed, and the cause was unable to be ascertained due to safety standards involving tree climbing.

Rodent monitoring, however, yielded satisfactory results and possum catches were low - harriers are thought to be responsible for many nest failures in this area.


45 Jun-02


3


Northland

The Puketi forest Dactylanthus site was visited in early April when the majority of the caged plots appeared to have new bud development with no evidence of disturbance. Old seed set was still observable. By early May, half the plants had flowers and buds at different stages of development. Some of the flowers had been partly eaten, and some buds had been totally eaten.


36 Apr-00


19


Otago

Stu Thorne in Wanaka has been back into the Dingle valley checking Pittosporum patulum. To his dismay 3 of the 4 young trees at one site, which had all been healthy last May, had been totally defoliated. Possums seem to be the most likely culprit, and a strategy for protecting the site is being considered.

46 Sep -02

9

Otago

Ongoing widespread possum control in the Catlins continues to assist the recovery of Tupeia antarctica mistletoe.


39 Dec-00


15


Southland

Whio: The productivity and survival study has just kicked off in the Clinton and Arthur Catchments (Milford Track).. We are placing video cameras on nests (3 so far) and will continue this throughout the summer. Two of the three videoed nests have been visited by stoats and one also by a possum. A stoat destroyed one of the nests and the female survived, while the other female managed to defend her nest from a stoat and a possum although the stoat stole one egg.


50 Sep -03


17


Southland

As part of a monitoring programme to determine the impacts of white-tail deer and possums on invertebrates on Rakiura (Stewart Island), a pitfall trap monitoring programme has been set up. Previous studies carried out in New Zealand indicate that deer can have an impact on ground dwelling invertebrates through altering available habitat and food types (litter-composition). Possums are direct predators of some invertebrates and significant foliage browsers of certain species.


43 Dec-01


7


Tongariro/ Taupo

Outcome monitoring of threatened plants is also occurring following the aerial 1080 possum control operation in Tongariro Forest. Two possum palatable threatened plants have been chosen as our sensitive and moderately sensitive indicator species: the root parasite dactylanthus and Pittosporum turneri..During the dactylanthus surveying, two plants of the mistletoe Tupeia antarctica were discovered. Both of these were severely browsed by possums. If time allows we may search more thoroughly and include this species as part of our outcome monitoring.

Pittosporum turneri has been chosen to monitor as our moderately sensitive species. This species has juvenile and adult growth forms, both of which are browsed by possum, but the adult is far more palatable. Sixty trees have been included in the monitoring at the Kapoors Road frost- flat site. Thirty of these trees have been banded and thirty have been left unbanded. The possum density at which impacts become apparent on


this species is not known, though it is thought to be between 5-10% residual trap catch (RTC).


44 Apr-02


9

Tongariro/ Taupo

two kaka nests have been detected in Rangataua Forest, both in early incubation. Staff will monitor them as they run the stoat/possum/rat gauntlet over coming months.


52 Mar -04


9


Tongariro/ Taupo

‘Whakapapa Survey Area’ (first surveyed in 1998/99) was re-surveyed in January. The purpose of this area is to determine whether natural regeneration is occurring as a result of possum control. This area was resurveyed.. The outcome was highly successful; the abundance of red mistletoes has increased dramatically from 50 plants in 1999 to 97 in 2004. Of note is that most of the new plants are small and hence likely to be new recruits as a result of our ongoing possum control. Unfortunately the yellow mistletoe abundance here is still very low, with three plants now known in this area.


39 Dec-00


5


Tongariro/ Taupo

The white mistletoe (Tupeia antarctica) has again been found at Te Porere redoubt fairly close to a large population found on Mt Tongariro last year. The vegetation is similar, and it is likely that more plants are present throughout the adjoining Tongariro Forest. Unfortunately all of the plants were heavily browsed and the only shoots present were out-of-possum reach. The host species was putaputaweta. Though not categorised as a threatened species, a single shrub of the possum palatable and epiphytic shrub Pittosporum kirkii was found fallen to the ground amongst perching lilies at Karioi rahui. This is perhaps another indication that the intensive possum control at the rahui is showing benefits. There have only ever been three records of this species previously in the conservancy, the last in 1976.


48 Apr -03


7

Tongariro/ Taupo


discovered many Tupeia antarctica on Raetihi hill during a foray to investigate likely plants to monitor for.. monitoring for possum control


49 Jun -03


9


Tongariro/ Taupo

kiwi: We named the chick Possum, a fitting name as another nest due to be robbed on the same day was predated by a suspected possum!.. eight have returned to the forest, one of these was predated by a stoat..Eight chicks successfully hatched in the wild: four were predated by stoats..new chicks were..released back into their parental territory in Tongariro forest. Three were predated by stoats


52 Mar -04


9


Tongariro/ Taupo

100 Acre bush: Possum control is continuing this year to protect dactylanthus at this site from browse. Additional dactylanthus clumps have been located here in order to better measure the efficacy of this control. A good population of Tupeia antarctica was discovered during a recent survey and monitoring visit, with approximately 60+ plants growing on a dense grove of lemonwood. All of these plants were fairly large and healthy, and have responded from over a decade of intensive possum control.


55 Dec -04


9

Tongariro/ Taupo

Pittosporum turneri: populations are healthy, which it not surprising since possum numbers are still below 2% residual trap catch. Many plants at all populations are now heavily flowering.


44 Apr-02


6


Waikato

North Island robins, Pureora: The fledgling success of pairs in Waipapa, an area controlled for possums and rats, was 82%. Predictably, things were not so good in the unmanaged Waimanoa with only 33% of pairs successful.


48 Apr -03


4


Waikato

staff are pleased with the success of recent possum control operations on Mount Pirongia, especially the spin-off benefit for the rare plant Dactylanthus taylorii. A team of DOC staff and three volunteers spent the last week in January on Pirongia's summit monitoring dactylanthus plants that had previously been caged for protection. Most of the 150 caged plants were in good health and flowering profusely, with no sign of possum or rat browse.


49 Jun -03


5


Waikato

Hebe speciosa: steadily increasing since monitoring began in 1999, when 41 individuals were found. In the latest survey, 388 plants were counted. All plants were in extremely good condition, with only one individual showing some sign of browse. Possum control and fencing out stock by the landowner are thought to be the main factors that have contributed to this increase


47 Dec -02


11


Wanganui

Tupeia :This previously known plant has been caged and is doing well. This new find (three plants so far) may be because of the high level of possum control at the site. In the 8 or 9 years since the aerial 1080 drop at Paengaroa, followed by ground control, the Tupeia has flourished to



50 Sep -03 10 Wanganui


51 Dec -03 9 Wanganui


36 Apr-00 3 Wellington


36 Apr-00 3 Wellington


36 Apr-00 4 Wellington

image

such an extent that some mistletoes are now 3 m across, and some host maire trees are looking decidedly sick

Paengaroa is one of six mainland islands maintained by DOC and is significant because of its rare collection of divaricating plants. Divaricating plants have a scraggly appearance because of their profuse and tangled branches, which some scientists believe may have originally evolved as a defence against browsing moa.

Lepidium flexicaule:. Grazing may be an issue, but then again there aren't any plants in a fenced off section of the herbfield, where weeds seem to be doing pretty well [grazing assisting biodiversity]

We now know at least 1 leafy mistletoe remains on Great Barrier Island!..It’s more a surprise to us that this mistletoe hasn’t been recorded here before, than that it has been discovered. Great Barrier should be a mistletoe haven– with no possums and plenty of habitat.

In December white mistletoe..was found..at Ketetahi in Tongariro National Park during the establishment of forest health monitoring plots..Further.. hundreds were found in January on another monitoring line in the same forest, some plants even occurred within the 20 x 20 m forest plots. Most of the plants were heavily browsed. This species will now be used as an indicator of forest health for an upcoming possum control operation.

The majority of Tongariro/Taupo Conservancy mistletoe surveying and monitoring has concentrated on Peraxilla colensoi at Rangataua Conservation Area, an area with 5 years of good possum control, and in a part of Kaimanawa Forest Park where possums are not controlled. Many large healthy plants were found flowering prolifically at Rangataua. In Kaimanawa Forest Park approximately 40 new hosts were found, of which about half could be banded. The health of the mistletoe here was more variable with some plants heavily browsed while others appeared untouched and were flowering well.

36 Apr-00 4 Wellington Flowering [of mistletoe] was comparatively light this year in contrast to last year, despite insignificant possum browse being observed.

Kokako: Monitoring of the birds released at Pukaha/Mount Bruce has commenced. The first territories have been mapped out and possum and

55 Dec -04 11 Wellington


40 Mar -01 9 West Coast


51 Dec -03 14 West Coast


51 Dec -03 15 West Coast

ship rat numbers are at low densities, so we wait for the first nest reports

Pittosporum patulum: Wanaka Area staff re-monitored three sites in the Dingleburn in January. All sites have been impacted by possums. About 25% of plants at the largest site show browsing ranging from minor to heavy.

Powelliphanta annectens is one of the largest giant land snail species. The Heaphy subpopulation is restricted to the area around the Heaphy River mouth, but is abundant and increasing further due to annual ground control for possums. During late winter and early spring, Buller Area Office staff became aware of exceptionally high numbers of P. annectens snails being eaten by thrush at three localised sites on the Heaphy Track. On 15 August, 477 shells were collected from the sites. The majority of the snails had been killed within the previous 3–4 weeks. Over the next 2 months the sites were checked every 2–3 weeks and the empty shells collected. By 13 October, over 1,700 snails had been killed. No decline in the rate of predation was found

Parts of South Westland remain a stronghold for the scarlet mistletoe (Peraxilla colensoi). A recent field trip to the Hope Valley, where possums are still in an early colonising phase, established some permanent plots for monitoring recruitment and mortality of scarlet mistletoe. Data collected estimated that there are on average approximately 36 scarlet mistletoe per hectare below 700 metres altitude in this valley. This figure is very similar to the Thomas Valley (Haast catchment) pre-possum colonisation in the early 1990s (also 36 per hectare in silver beech- podocarp forest, data collected by Hamish Owen, Canterbury University), and to two possum-free islands in Lake Waikareiti, Te Urewera National Park in January 2003 (about 31 per hectare, Aniwaniwa Area Office). The results of this and work at other sites confirms that scarlet mistletoe has suffered dramatic declines in abundance throughout much of its range, and that browsing by possums is the major cause of these declines



54 Sep -04 11 West Coast

The Conservancy monitoring team has been measuring scarlet mistletoe condition at sites with colonising and pre-peak possum populations in south Westland. Results show declines in mistletoe populations which appear to be following the possum invasion front (in areas without current possum control). Some areas to the south of Jackson’s Bay are only now being colonised by possums, and they seem to have very good populations of scarlet mistletoe (estimated to be around 36 per hectare at last count). Because there has been some doubt that possum impacts are directly causing this mistletoe decline, we decided to collect possum gut samples from these newly colonised areas. This would help confirm the link between rising possum populations and the decline of mistletoes in the south Westland area. Twenty-six possum stomachs were collected from possums trapped during surveillance monitoring between October and December 2003 from the Hope, Spoon and Gorge River catchments. The layer separation method (Sweetapple & Nugent 1998) was used to determine the individual food types eaten. Analysis was carried out by Peter Sweetapple (Landcare Research, Lincoln). The results were what we suspected (Table 1): mistletoe was the most dominant food item eaten (32.09%), and 16 of the 24 possums had evidence of mistletoe foliage in their stomachs. These results reflect the abundance of mistletoe within the Hope, Gorge and Spoon catchments and confirm its high preference as a food item by colonising possums. Muehlenbeckia australis (21.11%) and fuchsia (14.65%) were the next most commonly eaten food items, similar to previous studies on the diets of pre-peak possum populations. Pokaka (Elaeocarpus hookerianus) fruit and fuchsia flowers also made up a high proportion of the diet at 10.42% and 6.297% respectively. A relatively small number of food types dominated the diet, with the foliage of common staple foods such as kamahi absent from possum stomachs (this may reflect time of year with many other foods available). These recent diet results give further evidence of the key threat that possums pose to beech mistletoe and add support to the conclusion that possums are a major factor behind the rapid declines recently observed within south Westland forests. Our challenge now is to keep possum densities at low levels within these last areas where mistletoe is still common. The plan is to carry out an intensive possum control programme over the Hope Catchment to try and keep possums below 5% RTCI. The Gorge and Spoon are to have less intensive possum control


54 Sep -04 13 West Coast

Powelliphanta: numbers have decreased. An analysis of empty and damaged shells showed that mortality resulted from predation by song thrush, rat and possum. Populations at the other two sites were also considered to be low and damaged shells were again found.


image

Threat 3. Threats to Plant Species Quotes

(Lepidium banksii), is stubbornly resisting all recovery attempts. Of the transplants at five sites, only one appears healthy - seeding

49 Jun -03 13

Nelson/ Marlborough

aphids, transplants browsing,

prolifically for the entire season. A previously unrecognised threat was identified this year: root aphids, which annihilate nursery plants over hot summer months

42 Oct -01 12 West Coast

weeds Coprosma wallii: Browsing and competition with adventive grasses appear to be the main threats to this species on the West Coast.

We've also been out re-surveying coastal cress (Lepidium oleraceum) sites in the northern Mokohinau Islands. All our records of cress are 10 years or older, so it was time to re-check them. Six individual plants were found on only one stack. Rat eradication some

49 Jun -03 4 Auckland burrows

cuttings,

years ago has left the islands predator-free and now honeycombed with bird burrows

Shore spurge (Euphorbia glauca), once widespread in the inner Hauraki Gulf, now remains only on Brown’s Island. We planted 80 new shore spurges on Brown’s this winter, all were grown from the seed of cuttings taken from the one remaining natural plant on the island. The project has been a propagation success story. As our one plant failed to flower and produce seed, we removed cuttings from it in 1999. This was a tough decision as the plant only had a few stems. But the gamble paid off, as they flowered

50 Sep -03 3 Northland Nelson/

transplants

profusely and set seed while in cultivation at the Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens

A Cook’s scurvy grass census of the outer Pelorus Sound islands has confirmed that it is present on 6 of the 15 islands and islets

41 Jun -01 9

Marlborough drought Nelson/

visited. This year’s exceptional drought has killed most plants though.

42 Oct -01 11

Marlborough drought During the drought, large numbers of Raoulia mats died on the Cloudy Bay Foreshore

drought has affected the vegetation on a number of islands. The most noticeable effects are on The Brothers where a number of large Hebe elliptica on Little (northern) Brother, the largest shrubs on the island, have died. There are also noticeable areas of die back on both Long Island and Motuara Island. The severity of this drought can be seen on Motuara Island, where the waterhole has dried up for the first time in over thirty years. This is the only permanent natural water on the island and it has been dry now for four

42 Oct -01 16 Southland drought

Nelson/

months.

A survey of the Rarangi foreshore Raoulia mats failed to find any of the Cloudy Bay mat daisy jumper, Kiwaia sp. cf. jeanae. This is the second year we have failed to detect any of these flightless moths which are known from this site only. Their habitat was severely

45 Jun-02 12

Marlborough drought

farming, herbicides,

affected by the big drought of 2000/2001 and we are unsure whether the species has survived.

it appears the type locality of Melicytus flexuosus has been destroyed by the site’s conversion to a dairy farm. ..Spray treatments to remove adventive grasses have generally resulted in increased cover of broad-leaved weeds. Removing the grazing threat is clearly

39 Dec -00 12 West Coast

44 Apr-02 21 Otago

livestock farming, weeds, livestock, vehicles, harvesting

only a first step to restoring these communities.


Sphagnum bogs are threatened by conversion to agricultural land, competition from exotic grasses, stock and wild animal damage, sphagnum harvesting and recreational vehicle use.

Amphibromus fluitans: these plants did not reach flowering size before the latest inundation, so there was a net decrease in the seed

53 Jun -04 11 Wellington flooding

bank following their germination


40 Mar-01 7

52 Mar -04 10

image

Nelson/

Marlborough fire, neglect


East Coast/

Hawke's Bay goats

Fire on Boxing Day burnt all 300 recently planted Muehlenbeckia astonii, but the plants are tenacious. Despite being in the ground for only a few months, some are showing signs of regrowth when watered by a couple of concerned individuals!

Kowhai-ngutu-kaka: planting of this endangered shrub on road cuttings in the East Cape region..Graeme stopped by one of his plantings near Anaura Bay and was pleased to see some mature specimens in good health and vigour with juveniles nearby. On his return later that day he was devastated to discover that a mob of goats had been gobbling their way through the plants and had even ring-barked the older specimens...some of the goats paid the supreme penalty. The lesson from this is that ‘extinction events’ can occur with disagreeable rapidity, and we must constantly be on our guard if we are to prevent them

51 Dec -03 10 Wanganui habitat loss Robust milfoil has suffered a huge loss of habitat over the past 150 years

monitoring of spring annual sites in Central Otago is painting a rather bleak picture, with the apparent loss of several sites which had previously supported good populations of Ceratocephala pungens and Myosurus minimus subsp. novae-zelandiae...Some losses have

51 Dec -03 16 Otago habitat loss


East Coast/

resulted directly from land development

300 kakabeak propagated from one of the Area’s two known wild plants: Establishment has been slow, with almost total defoliation by hares contributing to the loss of around 90% of unprotected plants over the past 3 years. Though goats and deer are present in

50 Sep -03 8

Hawke's Bay hares

very low numbers they seem to be having little or no impact on the plants.

47 Dec -02 7 Bay of Plenty herbicides spraying reed sweet grass (Glyceria maxima) which is seriously threatening the fern populations.

49 Jun -03 15

Nelson/

Marlborough herbicides

chemical control of Carex ovalis in the ephemeral tarn at Sedgemere on Molesworth, is beginning to show potential for using a weedwand to enable the recovery of the unique turf community there

52 Mar -04 19 Canterbury herbicides Heliohebe raoulii var. Maccaskillii: part of the population had been killed recently during a spray operation to control gorse

We have continued our ongoing quest to establish the appropriate way to control the weed Plantago coronopus at inland saline sites. AgResearch had previously established which herbicides and concentrations are effective on buck's horn plantain in field conditions and aren't effective on native saline plants in the glasshouse. They recommended two herbicides (Versatill and 2,4-DB) for trial on natives in the field at a small scale. The targeted natives for this year were Puccinellia raroflorens, P. stricta, Selliera radicans and Sarcocornia quinqueflora. After being trained in how to use the spray equipment to deliver precise concentrations, the sites were sprayed in early December. The first vegetation re-measurement is not until March, but initial observations indicate that 2,4-DB

52 Mar -04 22 Otago herbicides

has killed the natives but Versatill has not. Neither has affected the plantain

52 Mar -04 24 Southland herbicides experiment in obtaining establishment and recruitment of Olearia hectorii by using herbicides to create a suitable seedbed.

Final checks have been made for seedling establishment at several sites where grass beneath Olearia trees were sprayed in early

53 Jun -04 17 Otago herbicides

Nelson/

spring. Unfortunately we appear to have been unsuccessful this year

A four day August survey .. for Coprosma virescens revealed only two plants. Prior to the survey, we knew of only one population in

54 Sep -04 9

Marlborough herbicides

herbicides,

the Nelson region, last seen in the early 1990s in Pig Valley. They have subsequently disappeared, falling victim to barberry spraying. experiment on a recently fenced fragmented population of Olearia hectorii in the Matukituki Valley... In October 2001 he sprayed rank grass beneath and downwind of mature O. hectorii trees with the herbicide "Touchdown"..A visit in early February confirmed not only a good knockdown of the grasses but also fantastic regeneration of O.hectorii seedlings in virtually all sprayed areas. Many thousands of seedlings were present with many already 10 cm or more tall. Calculation of seedling density revealed an astonishing 4,675 seedlings per square metre over the most dense seedling carpets... Although the experiment raises many questions about

44 Apr-02 20 Otago

drought

seedling survivorship, growth rates etc., (already drier summer conditions are causing large losses)


47 Dec -02


6


Bay of Plenty


herbicides, habitat loss

Most of the areas where the swamp nettle was found were protected either in Marginal Strips or Land Improvement Agreements. While this plant is able to defend itself with its stinging hairs (it is related to ongaonga, stinging nettle) it appears to be susceptible to herbicides and loss of habitat.


41 Jun -01


3


Auckland

herbicides, livestock, weeds

Our mawhai (Sicyos australis) at Otuataua Stonefields is still there – a victory for this spiny climber - which is now the poster species for the botanical values of the reserve in a brochure produced on Otuataua by the Manukau City Council. It’s been deliberately sprayed and eaten by stock in the past, and is now competing madly with moth plant, but we are hoping its luck is starting to turn.


39 Dec-00


5


Waikato


herbicides, weeds, taking seeds, DoC

Lepidium oleraceum: The population of this threatened plant on the Matariki Islands (near Coromandel Harbour) was visited again, and the kikiyu grass threatening its long-term viability was controlled with Gallant herbicide. This work was done using data from a NIWA trial for Waikato Conservancy on the effects of grass specific herbicides on Lepidium. The sites will be visited once a year, and the same treatment applied. Next year we also plan to take seed from these plants, and to propagate them for planting on other nearby islands.


52 Mar -04


7


Bay of Plenty


herbicides, flooding

Monitoring of Cyclosorus interruptus in Awaiti Wildlife Management Reserve this summer has been foiled so far by high water levels which tend to kill off Cyclosorus populations. The wet weather has kept water levels high, resulting in Cyclosorus being hard to find and therefore making it difficult to monitor the impacts of a willow spraying operation undertaken last summer on the populations

46 Sep -02

2

Auckland

insects

Lepidium oleraceum: Most leaves were stripped back to the midrib, by what is assumed to be insects.


43 Dec -01


5


Bay of Plenty

insects, browsing, pesticides, weeds, succession

Thelypteris confluens and Cyclosorus interruptus: The last few years have been a failure, with insects or other browsers destroying all plants before flowering or seed set could occur. This year a range of protection mechanisms including slug bait and insecticide are being applied regularly to prevent browse. So far this work has paid off with two flower stalks present. Rorippa divaricata: No new populations were found and several existing populations had died out with the sites being invaded by secondary native shrub species and exotic grasses. Eight live plants in total were found, a decrease from 12 known plants last year


45 Jun-02


4


Auckland


insects, disease

kakabeak (Clianthus puniceus): only five of the original individuals planted in August 2001 have survived. Unfortunately the surviving plants were in poor health, being subject to some form of insect attack..analysis showed that plants had a significant amount of fungal growth..There were also at least three types of insect attack.. these attacks may be due to an underlying cause rather than being the cause of poor health. Stress from drying or root damage, increased shading from overgrowing trees, or some other sudden change, may alter the plant’s condition and make it more attractive as a food source. Alternatively, overcrowding of a pest species on some other neighbouring plants may result in a spillover effect.


49 Jun -03


5


Waikato

insects, disease, weeds


Lepidium oleraceum: Both insect damage and white rust infection are present at low levels, and plants appear to be in good condition. Weeds are an ongoing problem and probably the greatest threat to this population


41 Jun -01


9

Nelson/ Marlborough


livestock


Scutellaria novae-zelandiae: Habitat degradation by cattle is a significant threat


45 Jun-02


8


Wanganui


livestock

Ranunculus recens: The original population is battling, with horse sign through the seepage area. There were hoof prints in the 50 x 50 cm monitoring plot.

47 Dec -02

15

West Coast

livestock

Coprosma wallii: Protection of the bulk of this population will require fencing to keep grazing cattle out.


53 Jun -04


17


Otago


livestock

Simplicia laxa: conducted localised weed control of Hieracium lepidulum. There are two sites here: the ‘top slot’ which is not accessible to stock, and the ‘big slot’ which had one section fenced off in 1997. Analysis of the data shows a steady decline in the



54 Sep -04 13 Otago livestock livestock,

image

unfenced sections, whilst the fenced section has remained pretty steady

Six years of monitoring Simplicia laxa at Castle Rock on the Old Man Range has shown continued decline in cover within those parts of the site where stock have had access. This is in contrast to an area from which stock were excluded in 1997, which has maintained a good cover of Simplicia.

Ophioglossum petiolatum: .Trampling and browsing are probably the biggest threats. Feral deer frequent the turf areas where the

49 Jun -03 7 Bay of Plenty


45 Jun-02 3 Northland


53 Jun -04 19 Southland

browsing


livestock, storms


marram grass, herbicides

plant occurs, so several small cages were placed over plants as a trial to reduce any trampling or grazing effects

Caring for around 70 plants of the annual herb Holloway's crystalwort (Atriplex hollowayi) on Far North Beaches has hopefully enhanced the seedbank this year. The plant is now so restricted and in such low numbers that stock, wild horses, and chance summer easterly storms are an extreme threat to its survival. Te Paki staff have had a summer -long struggle trying to erect horse- proof temporary fences. A calm summer and vigilance by staff paid dividends with a good seedset. One hundred and fifty nursery- grown plants were planted out but few survived.

Marram grass was originally introduced to Stewart Island to 'stabilise' the dunes. It has been amazingly successful, changing the whole nature of the dune system and driving many plant and animal communities to the brink of extinction. Dune areas are under- represented in New Zealand’s protected areas, being under pressure from farming, recreational use and housing development.

During the last month the team sprayed marram found on over 90 hectares of dunefield for the third consecutive year. The results of the spraying are already becoming evident, with dramatic pingao growth and some dunes reverting to a pre-marram state

Local iwi..have been monitoring the progress of 300 Sebaea ovata plants which were translocated in November from plants grown from seed collected at Wanganui to Pouto. Most plants on their land did well, flowering and seeding before dying off in the dry January weather. The plants at the DOC managed site did not do as well. Bud browse at this slightly more disturbed site is being

48 Apr -03 3 moths

attributed to the gentian feeding plume moth

The infestation on Clianthus maximus reported in the last issue turned out not to be sawfly larvae; a huge relief. The problem was caused by a number of species which included the relatively common kowhai moth. Caterpillar samples which had been sent to two

55 Dec -04 11

Tongariro/ Taupo

moths, pesticide pigs, livestock,

authorities for identification apparently did not include the single animal that was provisionally-identified here. The infected plants were dosed with insecticide and are now recovering

The main threats to Atriplex hollowayi are high tides, and pigs ploughing through flotsam washed ashore. Overall they have been a

48 Apr -03 2 Northland

neglect

lucky bunch of plants, with many being missed by horse hooves and pig feeding.

The Conservancy monitoring team has been measuring scarlet mistletoe condition at sites with colonising and pre-peak possum populations in south Westland. Results show declines in mistletoe populations which appear to be following the possum invasion front (in areas without current possum control). Some areas to the south of Jackson’s Bay are only now being colonised by possums,

54 Sep -04 11 West Coast possums

and they seem to have very good populations of scarlet mistletoe (estimated to be around 36 per hectare at last count).

47 Dec -02 15

Nelson/ Marlborough

quarrying, erosion, fire

Brachyscome "Ward": The plants have lost some habitat through quarrying and are potentially under threat from crumbling cliffs and fire..It is likely that grazing is helping to maintain their habitat

Leptinella filiformis: Until 1998 it was thought to be extinct.. 31 plants .. were planted out at Medbury Reserve.. monitored in October; six had been destroyed and a further four damaged by rabbits. The rabbits were probably attracted to the plants by the

44 Apr-02 16 Canterbury rabbits

newly disturbed ground when they were planted. Hopefully the unusually damp summer on the plains has ensured this population

51 Dec -03 1 Auckland rabbits

rabbits,

image

will become established enough to withstand further attention from the rabbits.

The only population of sand tussock (Austrofestuca littoralis) on Whangapaoa Beach have been fenced off from rabbits. The large increase in rabbit numbers this year has resulted in the sand tussock being selectively browsed back to stubby sticks

46 Sep -02 1 Auckland

weeds Threats to puha include browsing by rabbits and competition with exotic Sonchus and other introduced species.

The Raoul endemic karo (Pittosporum aff. crassifolium) seems to have suffered a higher degree of habitat loss than most plants on

55 Dec -04 4 Auckland

rats, goats, habitat loss

Raoul, with the coastal habitats preferentially modified by settlers in the past. In addition it has been browsed by goats and its seed taken by rats

Pterostylis cernua: SH 73 roadside ditch near Kumara. This site is very dependent on the mowing and roadside maintenance regime, which has the potential to both benefit the orchid (by keeping the grass sward low) and destroy it (by mowing down flowers, or ditch

39 Dec -00 12 West Coast roading


42 Oct -01 3 Northland roading


51 Dec -03 1 Auckland roading


roading, rubbish dumping,

clearance), and we are beginning to work with Opus to manage the site.

Mistletoe: Our largest site in the Conservancy remains that currently earmarked for destruction by the future extension of State Highway 1

There have been two incidents in the last year of threatened plant populations being damaged by roading contractors: green mistletoe (Ileostylus micranthus) and pale flowered kumeraho (Pomaderris hamiltonii) have been destroyed. These incidents occurred despite previous contact with the council about the plants and the council agreeing to avoid damaging the plants. Our people once again got together with their people to try and stop this from happening again. Some of the remedies discussed included better marking of the sites, more regular contact, and maps that can be given to the people driving the machinery

staff have been out with Opus Consultants who manage State Highways in Rotorua ..to show them the few Tupeia and Ileostlyus sites that occur near highways. Hopefully these will be avoided during road maintenance. At the Lake Okareka Tupeia site.. signage has been erected at several access points to the two areas of conservation land near private properties, asking the public to protect native mistletoe by not dumping rubbish or garden refuse. This will hopefully reduce the amount of mainly garden refuse being

51 Dec -03 5 Bay of Plenty East Coast/

weeds

dumped at these important sites and which has been slowing the progress of ongoing weed control work

roadside conservation plantings of kakabeak..had been decimated within a period of two weeks. The culprits appear to be larvae of

54 Sep -04 7

Hawke's Bay sawfly

the willow sawfly

The flat summit plateau was found to be virtually devoid of the Hebe elliptica shrubland and Poa astonii tussockland previously

42 Oct -01 14 Otago shags


54 Sep -04 6 Bay of Plenty slips


Nelson/

recorded there. Stewart Island shags seem to be the most likely culprits

On the flipside, the heavy rainfall events in July which caused severe flooding in the Eastern Bay of Plenty also impacted on Moutohora. Many slips have cascaded down parts of the island’s cliffs, burying most of the threatened plants planted in these environments.

Monitoring of the transplanted Carmichaelia juncea on the Kahurangi coast showed devastation wreaked by introduced slugs. Wellgrown specimens, planted into salt turf and clifftops during winter are now stumps. Browse inside mesh cages showed slugs as the culprits. Previously similar damage was attributed to hares and possums.. Typical damage involves removing leaf and flower

43 Dec-01 11

Marlborough slugs

slugs, snails,

buds, chewing small shoots and stems

Lepidium oleraceum and Euphorbia glauca: Tuhua (Mayor Island), approximately 40 plants were established around south-east bay

47 Dec -02 6 Bay of Plenty

sparrows

in winter 2000. Recent assessments indicate approximately 50% are surviving. Slugs, snails, and sparrows are browsing plants.


51 Dec -03 1 Auckland snails


snails,


image

Taumaihi Island, August 2000 planting of 27 Lepidium oleraceum was assessed in 2001 with no plants found. This site was rechecked in April 2002 with still no plants found and only two Euphorbia glauca plants found.

The one and only naturally occurring sand spurge (Euphorbia glauca) known in the Auckland Area is perched precariously on a cliff on Browns Island. Eighty young Euphorbias grown by the Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens were planted in the general vicinity of the wild plant this winter. Four months later, only 11 of the 80 are still looking good. Most of the rest seem to have succumbed to snails, which defoliate the plant and eat at the stems

the last remaining Euphorbia glauca in Auckland Area..been seen flowering for the first time ever and had set a little seed when later checked..planting more Euphorbia grown at the Botanic Gardens from material from the original lonely plant. Although the plantings

54 Sep -04 3 Auckland

drought

have been troubled by garden snails and drought, some of them have flourished. A further 120 were planted this season

The recent heavy snowfalls in central North Island took their toll on the trees at Paengaroa. A lot of branches came down, trees have toppled over, and the undergrowth has been trashed in some areas. Our Korthalsella clavata monitoring on a Coprosma wallii is now well and truly over, with the tree having broken. Some new canopy gaps in the forest have been created, and there is a lot more

42 Oct -01 9 Wanganui storms


storms, weeds, vehicles,

light. It may well be events like this that drive the system.

Sebaea ovata, a small gentian of ephemeral dune wetlands, has been translocated to three locations on the Pouto Penninsula near Dargaville. Sebaea ovata was thought to be extinct until rediscovered in the Whanganui area at Whitiau Scientific Reserve in 1989 with another population discovered at Hawken’s Lagoon Conservation Area in 2000. They are the only known natural populations of Sebaea ovata. Unfortunately both populations are declining and are threatened by extreme weather, weeds, vehicles, and stock

47 Dec -02 10 Wanganui

livestock

damage among other things.

A check on both the Lake Rotoiti and Blue Lake Rorippa populations in December revealed several trends. At eight sites around Lake Rotoiti the monitored population has declined from approximately 57 plants in 2002 to 31 plants in 2004. Many plants were young seedlings, indicating a continual turnover of plants on these slip sites, with some sites becoming overgrown and other successional

52 Mar -04 7 Bay of Plenty succession


39 Dec-00 15 Southland tourism


transplants,

species thereby eliminating Rorippa.

Permit workload is high with increasing numbers of research and tourist permits for the sub-Antarctic Islands (40 applications and they are still coming).

Lepidium flexicaule transfer sites on Rangitoto Island .. five plants reported previously as having survived from the translocated population of 150, have died. However, seven seedlings were located, having germinated from the seed produced by the now

42 Oct -01 3 Northland


44 Apr-02 11 Wanganui

weeds


transplants, weeds

deceased adult plants. Exotic annual plants seem to be out-competing this native cress there.

Ranunculus recens The transplant sites haven't fared any better. Twenty-odd seedlings were found in one 5´5 cm patch where an adult had been the year before. There were also two seedlings just below this clump. But that's all that's left from the original plantings at four 50´50 cm sites. More of a worry is that we spotted Chilean rhubarb (Gunnera tinctoria) on the cliffs just below the original site.

Austrofestuca littoralis research shows a decline in the population size since the last survey several years ago. The main causes were erosion of some of the dune areas by tidal influences and trampling of plants by vehicles on the dune systems – especially quad bikes

41 Jun -01 7 Bay of Plenty vehicles


41 Jun -01 6 Bay of Plenty walkway

and motorbikes.

Korthalsella salicornioides:.. walkway passes through the middle of the population, and with no options to realign the track vegetation has been carefully trimmed to keep the track clear.



39 Dec-00 4 Waikato weeds

Nelson/

image

Another weed control party has just returned from Cuvier, and again the weed focus was mothplant. We are beginning to see reducing returns of weeds found per unit effort, so it looks like we are getting somewhere.

Ephemeral wetlands: Weeds, especially oval sedge, appears to have been brought in by waterfowl from the Cobb Valley, and are

41 Jun -01 9

Marlborough weeds

weeds,

threatening the upper turfs, which is where most of the Hypsella grows.

Inland saline sites: the latest weed – Plantago coronopus - threatening these important ecosystems. It’s become very invasive at many sites and threatens to wipe out many of the special plants. Biodiversity funding is facilitating a multi-year research programme

  1. Jun -01 12 Otago

    herbicides

    to test a range of herbicides, some of which we hope will prove effective control agents.

    Lepidium flexicaule transfer sites on Rangitoto Island .. five plants reported previously as having survived from the translocated population of 150, have died. However, seven seedlings were located, having germinated from the seed produced by the now

  2. Oct -01 3 Northland weeds


  3. Dec-01 2 Northland weeds


Nelson/

deceased adult plants. Exotic annual plants seem to be out-competing this native cress there.

Search[ed] many miles of Pouto for S. ovata...The windblown, footsore team returned unrewarded. Ironically the introduced

Blackstonia perfoliata and Centaurium erythraea seem to think Pouto is ideal gentian habitat too

An experiment is now underway to find a method of controlling the weedy sedge, Carex ovalis, in the ephemeral tarn at Sedgemere. The edge is overwhelming the special communities there, which contain one plant known only from that tarn (Craspedia “tarn”) and

43 Dec-01 12

Marlborough weeds

four other tiny threatened plants.

(Sicyos australis): Both populations consisted of large individuals covering an area of 5´5 metres. Unfortunately the weed Mexican

44 Apr-02 4 Auckland weeds


44 Apr -02 8 Bay of Plenty weeds

Nelson/

devil was found growing near to one of the sites; this will hopefully be targeted for control in the near future.

a few clumps of Cyclosorus and Thelypteris were noted in amongst a heavy reed sweet grass infestation. It appears that numbers of both species have declined..since early 90’s, probably as a result of weed competition

44 Apr-02 15

Marlborough weeds pygmy button: grass competition is proving to be the main threat now

The coastal moth Notoreas ‘Taranaki’ appears to be benefiting from work carried out by Jim Clarkson from the Stratford Area Office. Management of the coastal herbfields, where its host plant Pimelea urvillena grows, has continued with exhaustive hand weeding

45 Jun-02 8 Wanganui weeds

Nelson/

occurring.

Monitoring of peppercress survival was monitored on two small islands, where it was introduced, in the Moutere Inlet. Its continued

45 Jun-02 11

Marlborough weeds

survival was surprising as recruitment has been very poor and weed competition severe.

Invasive weed control has been underway to protect several threatened plant species around Waionui Inlet, on South Kaipara Head...Pampas, wandering jew and black wattle have been removed from the immediate area, although the site is adjacent to

47 Dec -02 3 Auckland weeds

Nelson/

several thousand hectares of pampas covered dunes and pine forest, so the work will be an ongoing task.

Craspedia "Leatham" survey showed that the original population of plants has decreased from 67 to 36 rosettes over the last two years. On a more positive note, a second site containing 14 rosettes was discovered. The large drop in plant numbers has prompted

48 Apr -03 8

Marlborough weeds

the setup of formal monitoring and careful weed control.

Vegetation and weed control to allow daylight and reduce competition from kakabeak seedlings on Moturemu has just been completed. While the transplanted kakabeak did not survive, it has been heartening to see seedlings come up from the island seed

49 Jun -03 3 Auckland weeds

bank for a second year, and some of last years seedlings are still growing

49 Jun -03 4 Auckland weeds Dense weed infestations seem to hamper establishment of the coastal shore-cress on the island. The translocation is now entering a


49 Jun -03 7

50 Sep -03 11


Tongariro/

Taupo weeds


Nelson/

Marlborough weeds


image

re-assessment phase, during which the Conservancy will consider whether it is feasible to continue to try and establish a population of this cress on Rangitoto, or whether Auckland’s weedy flora will win out

The Volcanic Plateau forget-me-not (Myosotis aff. Pygmaea): Unfortunately two of the small depressions were heavily infested by

Heiracium pilosella, so it may be under immediate threat

Lepidium banksii.. Weeding continues..to reduce light competition..The peppercress and grey saltbush plantings in the Moutere Inlet are looking good.. numerous seedlings have cropped up..Another interesting outcome of the exotic grass weeding here is that healthy mats of the native spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides; ranked as Sparse) have appeared. It looks as though this is the result of the release of a long-lived seed bank after the habitat has been opened up

Following the initial survey/resurvey work undertaken with Waikato Conservancy staff in August, a follow-up day was held with DOC

51 Dec -03 4 Bay of Plenty weeds


Tongariro/

volunteers in October to “weed” Picris and Pimelea sites located to reduce the competition from other plant species

Vegetation clearance has been occurring at Tangiwai Bog in the hope this will reduce competition and increase the abundance of Pterostylis micromega. All the vegetation in small areas (10 × 10 m) has been cut for the last two years. The abundance of Pterostylis micromega has increased annually from 43 plants in 2002, to 57 plants in 2003 and 137 plants in 2004. We have now decided to expand this work with a more scientific method at the Paramanawera Bog; three plots will be cleared and three plots will remain un-

52 Mar -04 10

Taupo weeds

cleared

53 Jun -04 6 Bay of Plenty weeds Thelypteris populations have declined in the last decade, with weed invasion being a major factor at some sites

Kermadec groundsel (Senecio kermadecensis).. appears to have been outcompeted probably by a Mexican daisy Ageratum

55 Dec -04 4 Auckland weeds

weeds,

houstonianum

survey using volunteers ..for the elusive Pterostylis micromega record (1984) from the Lower Kaituna wetland. No plants were found,

44 Apr -02 8 Bay of Plenty


44 Apr-02 20 Otago


51 Dec -03 3 Waikato


38 Sep -00 16


38 Sep -00 8 Wellington

herbicides


weeds, herbicides weeds, herbicides weeds, livestock, habitat loss, mineral deficieny


weeds, pigs, livestock

however several new sites for royal fern (Osmunda regalis) – a major weed threat to the wetland – were discovered and treated Simplicia laxa: Recent monitoring indicates this rare grass is doing well at its stronghold on Castle Rock on the Old Man Range. The weed Hieracium lepidulum, which threatens its rock overhang habitat, is being successfully kept in check by periodic dabbing of herbicide (woody weed killer) on invading plants.

Lepidium work continues on the Matariki Islands. This is a constant battle with Kikuyu grass, but Gallant herbicide kills the grass and not the Lepidium


Sebaea ovate: This last known New Zealand population is under severe pressure from encroaching weeds, trespassing stock, habitat degradation and possible mineral deficiencies.

Staff have assessed threatened plants planted since 1993 at several protected areas..Blackberry has proved too strong a competitor for some individuals.. Stock caused some minor losses..1998 plantings were blitzed by pigs..There were stock problems prior to the fence repair.. Pingao and shore spurge have struggled because of dune profile changes. Unsuccessful plantings include sowthistle (Embergeria grandifolia) and Cook’s scurvy grass. Chatham Island forget-me-not (Myosotidium hortensia) were destroyed by cattle and sheep

41 Jun -01 6 Bay of Plenty flooding Pterostylis micromega: ..no plants were located. The wetland habitat has changed greatly since the original discovery with much


more water present and no grazing. While this management regime has greatly improved the functioning and quality of the wetland it may not have been so favourable for the orchid.


46 Sep -02


1


Northland

wetland loss, weeds


Draining and weeds is the likely cause of dieback at the only remaining Christella aff. dentata site


image

Type of threat


50 Sep -03 7 Bay of Plenty boats

community

  1. Threats to Animal Species Quotes


    Dabchick: boats do appear to have a negative impact on dabchick behaviour by disturbance, and that the wash from boats impacts on dabchick nests.

    Priorities from here are to source funding for a professional predator-proof fence. The best efforts of the landowner have not been

    53 Jun -04 12 Canterbury


    Nelson/

    involvement

    enough against the wily fence-cracking skills of stoats.

    Fifteen Leiopelma pakeka frogs were collected off Maud by Bruce Waldman and taken to Canterbury University to help further our understanding of frogs in general and of the chytrid fungal disease specifically. Some Maud Island frogs have been developing

    48 Apr -03 9

    Marlborough disease

    disease,

    lesions around their eyes, and this is being investigated.

    Chytrid fungus has been positively identified from dead frogs in the main Archey’s populations on the Coromandel and the King Country. Plans are afoot to capture 50 Archey’s frogs from the King Country in April to begin a captive population as a safeguard

    44 Apr-02 7 Waikato

    capture

    against their possible extinction in the wild.

    The latest field trip to the Placostylus ambagiosus subsp. Paraspiritus colony confirmed that there was a massive die-off there a couple of years back, and there are now fewer snails than when we started protection work in 1988. None of the other colonies have crashed. As the common garden snail also occurs here and also suffered a big die-off we are speculating that perhaps a disease event occurred. Norway rats invaded a small island (Snail Rock) off Purerua Peninsula about six months ago and seriously

    43 Dec-01 1 Northland disease, rats


    49 Jun -03 20 Otago DoC feeding


    54 Sep -04 1 DoC feeding


    40 Mar-01 10 Otago dogs

    Nelson/

    depleted the snails (P. hongii) there. Instead of well in excess of 100 snails, just 15 were found this time

    Weka: The death of a bird from gout made us reassess the diet for the birds in the aviary. As a result, we removed all additional protein from the diet and replaced it with fruit.

    [Albatross]: For the 2003/04 season, 12 albatross chicks hatched from 15 eggs laid. Four chicks subsequently died; some of these chicks were supplementary fed. Autopsies of these chicks by Massey staff have shown that their diet lacked sufficient calcium.

    Massey is in the process of analyzing the nutritional components of proventricular oil that is obtained from sooty shearwaters and has been used in supplementary feeding of albatross chicks at Taiaroa Head for almost 20 years. From what we have learnt so far from the deaths of this season’s chicks, Massey will be able to provide us with much better guidelines for the nutritional requirements of albatrosses

    Oamaru.. 2 dogs killing large numbers of blue penguins... irresponsible dog owners and their dogs are still a threat to ground- nesting birds

    During the drought, large numbers of Raoulia mats died on the Cloudy Bay Foreshore, which meant that when staff came to survey

    42 Oct -01 11


    43 Dec-01 12


    44 Apr-02 14

    Marlborough drought


    Nelson/

    Marlborough drought


    Nelson/

    Marlborough drought

    for the recently discovered mat daisy jumper moth, Kiwaia, none could be found.

    It appears that drought in North Marlborough has had a major impact on weka, with reports of huge declines in the Upper Pelorus and on d’Urville Island. We are therefore repeating our annual counts. Initial results show that the decline is widespread e.g., Port Underwood Saddle: 80 calls last year, only one this November.

    After last year’s record-breaking drought, we experienced the wettest spring and summer on record. This appears to have affected a number of plants and birds. Fantails have taken a conservancy-wide dive, and even island populations have been affected. On Takapourewa Island, they have been found drowned in stock water troughs.

    44 Apr-02 15 Nelson/ drought Weka are having a good breeding season in the Sounds Area after being devastated by the drought in many places, including Port


    image

    Marlborough Underwood and Mt Richmond Park. Full recovery is still some time away

    A survey of the Rarangi foreshore Raoulia mats failed to find any of the Cloudy Bay mat daisy jumper, Kiwaia sp. cf. jeanae. This is


    45 Jun-02 12

    Nelson/

    Marlborough drought

    the second year we have failed to detect any of these flightless moths which are known from this site only. Their habitat was severely affected by the big drought of 2000/2001 and we are unsure whether the species has survived.

    (short-jawed kokopu): spotted a freshly dead one in a dried out pool in the Eves Valley Scenic Reserve. A follow-up survey revealed giant kokopu, banded kokopu, inanga, upland bully, koura and long-finned eels - but no more jaws. This site is a great little stream


    49 Jun -03 14

    Nelson/ Marlborough

    drought, forest clearing


    drought,

    and shows the importance of riparian native forest for sustaining suites of large galaxiids.. the reserve is one of the very few remaining lowland alluvial forest remnants in the region

    This year’s annual kereru count ..produced the second lowest count seen over the 13-year period. The reasons for this year’s low numbers are uncertain but could include: late bud-break of preferred species, perhaps due to ground water deficit; plentiful food

    51 Dec -03 10 Wanganui


    47 Dec -02 1 Auckland

    poaching drought, storms, predation

    elsewhere; illegal hunting of kereru


    Pateke: The cause of this low survival rate is probably a combination of pukeko and harrier predation and lack of food resources. Food availability is low due to very dry feeding areas after weeks of low rainfall and strong winds.

    A snail shell found on the outskirts of Hokitika was handed in to us by a local farmer/teacher in June and identified as Powelliphanta annectens. Follow-up surveys found 2 live snails in the vicinity, and a proposed burn of the area was put off indefinitely by the farmer .. The population is undoubtedly the result of a translocation (probably accidental) of the species away from its natural range in the Kahurangi National Park area, so it was decided that the site does not require active conservation

    38 Sep -00 11 West Coast farm burning

    36 Apr-00 13 Wanganui farm roads Nelson/

    management. However, because few such translocations are documented, a full report..was written.

    Area staff started discussions with landowners adjacent to the stream with the high population of short-jawed kokopu only to discover that one of them had bulldozed a track immediately adjacent to it.

    Takahe: Two chicks have survived to over 50 days on Maud Island, which is a good effort in a summer of massive rainfall. Eric, hung up by his leg in a sheep netting fence, would have died if Steve had not found him and administered some TLC. Fences were also

    44 Apr-02 15

    Marlborough fences

    responsible for Albert’s death previously, fuelling debate about whether to take sheep and fences off Maud Island altogether.

    The four pairs of kokako breeding in the Auckland Regional Council Hunua Ranges Management Block produced five fledg lings this

    48 Apr -03 4 flooding


    52 Mar -04 12 Wanganui flooding

    flooding,

    season. There were seven nesting attempts, of which five failed due to flooding and suspected harrier and possum predation. Blue duck: A series of flood events during spring and early summer appear to be the primary cause of this high rate of chick mortality.. Of the nine nests that failed..seven were washed out by floods.

    Whio: Productivity was very low this year (19 chicks from 44 pairs), primarily due to flooding in October. The monitoring and

    53 Jun -04 6

    Tongariro/ Taupo

    hydro schemes

    banding will continue for two years after the water has been released. The water release is due to occur when hearings within the environment court have been resolved.

    42 Oct -01 9 Wanganui forest clearing Twenty-eight NZ robins were transferred to Bushy Park from an area of pine plantation at Waimarino, which is soon to be milled.

    49 Jun -03 16 Canterbury

    forest clearing, flooding, weeds

    Periegops suteri: The primary cause of decline for this species is likely to be a reduction in suitable habitat. There are few remnants of mature forest remaining on Banks Peninsula and these are under considerable threat due to their small size and the impacts of weeds and pests. In some reserves.. the leaf litter layer in which it lives is regularly swept away by flooding. The spiders are also likely to be eaten by animal pests such as hedgehogs, cats, rats, mice and possums


    52 Mar -04 12 Wanganui


    47 Dec -02 5 Waikato


    Nelson/


    image

    forestry, marram, weeds ground nest disturbance ground nest disturbance, hydro


    Katipo: There has been concern that the population is in decline, particularly as a result of habitat alteration; sand dunes are being replaced by pine plantations, planted with marram grass or invaded by weeds.. Spiders were largely absent from areas with dense marram, high levels of litter and sparse foredune vegetation.

    New Zealand dotterel: Although the Aotea nest is in a good spot, with no management, it is highly likely to fail from human disturbance over the Christmas season

    Black-fronted terns: Four colonies are being monitored; approximately 70 pairs in total. A high turnover of nests has been observed, with in excess of 150 monitored. Nest failures were due to a range of factors including predators and abandonment. Pressures on braided river habitat are continuing to increase in Marlborough, with the proposal for a significant hydro scheme on

    55 Dec -04 13

    Marlborough

    schemes ground nests

    the Wairau

    41 Jun -01 8 Bay of Plenty

    disturbance NZ dotterel Thanks to Bryan Williams and his signs we’ve managed to get a fledgling at a beach near New Plymouth.

    New Zealand dotterel: two birds have fledged; another two were banded during late November..Protection for these birds has


    43 Dec-01 10


    East Coast/ Hawke's Bay


    Nelson/

    ground nests disturbance, vehicles

    included predator trapping (for cats, hedgehogs and mustelids), giving presentations to the local moto-cross club, and involving local school children in the protection of the area. NZ dotterel at Te Araroa has had a disappointing season yet again. Vehicles and wandering cattle have destroyed all nesting attempts so far.

    Powelliphanta "Anatoki Range": The number of snails appears to be similar to when it was last surveyed in 1991, and it appeared that none of the empty shells were predated by possums or rats. The main threat seems to be habitat degradation by hares and

    52 Mar -04 16

    Marlborough hares, goats

    goats

    Central Otago Area staff have been surveying new areas on the Hawkdun Range for scree skinks, without success so far. An

    44 Apr-02 21 Otago hedgehogs

    interesting find was evidence of hedgehog predation of lizards at relatively high altitude on the range


    51 Dec -03 12


    50 Sep -03 13

    46 Sep -02 6

    Nelson/ Marlborough Nelson/ Marlborough

    Nelson/ Marlborough Nelson/

    hydro schemes hydro schemes

    koi, mosquito fish

    black-fronted terns: The status of BFTs (Serious Decline) is not anticipated to improve if a proposal by Trustpower to develop a hydro scheme along 50 km of the Wairau goes ahead

    The Wairau River provides breeding habitat for c.30% of all black-fronted tern, and hence plans for a run of the river power scheme raised concerns

    One of two known koi carp populations was eradicated in a Nelson ornamental pond through draining of the waterway. A lot of floundering around in mud and co-operation from the Nelson City Council and Fish and Game assistance allowed this project to reach a successful end. The remaining population will hopefully be dealt with along similar lines in spring. And then there are the 10 Gambusia populations to keep us busy.

    giant weta Deinacrida parva: Habitat on the river flats is being strongly impacted by cattle grazing, potentially reducing available

    52 Mar -04 17

    Marlborough livestock

    cover for the weta

    55 Dec -04 16 Otago livestock another longjaw site in a spring-fed stream adjacent to the Kauru River which is heavily impacted by cattle.

    Marram invasion has caused the dunes to become steeper which in turn forces the oystercatchers to nest closer to the storm surge

    39 Dec-00 8 Wellington marram


    53 Jun -04 19 Southland marram

    line (the major cause of nest loss).

    attacking marram grass at Mason Bay on Stewart Island. Marram grass was originally introduced to Stewart Island to 'stabilise' the dunes. It has been amazingly successful, changing the whole nature of the dune system and driving many plant and animal communities to the brink of extinction. Dune areas are under-represented in New Zealand’s protected areas, being under pressure



    43 Dec-01 1 Northland mosquito fish


    Nelson/

    image

    from farming, recreational use and housing development

    Recent monitoring of dwarf inanga in the Kaiiwi and Pouto Lakes made the alarming discovery of Gambusia affinis (mosquito fish)..implicated in the demise of dwarf inanga in the Kaiiwi lakes.

    Hutton’s Shearwater: The impact of stoats on this species has been a concern for many years.. PhD research concluded that while many colonies have become extinct, including four in the last 30 years, these were all accessible to pigs. The two remaining

    39 Dec-00 11


    37 Jun -00 15

    Marlborough pigs


    Nelson/ Marlborough pigs

    colonies are inaccessible to pigs and considered to be stable

    Survey work on Arapawa Island confirmed the presence of the protected, undescribed Megadromus beetle at several sites, as well as Wainuia and occasional Powelliphanta snails. However, in many areas these species are being heavily hit by pigs which have severely rooted large areas of forest floor, overturning large stones in the process. The invertebrates tend to be surviving where there is substantial bedrock outcropping that curtails pig activity.

    52 Mar -04 25 Southland poaching Stewart Island: lizard[s]: All are under threat from rats, cats and poachers.

    Whareorino fieldwork also revealed seven dead Archey’s and one dead Hochstetter’s. All except one of these frogs were found over the 15 x 15 m grid where grid counts have been carried out since November 2001. The remaining dead frog was found approximately 1 km away on a track. On some of the frogs there is evidence of predation, holes in the ventral surface and body

    47 Dec -02 3 Waikato predation


    45 Jun -02 7 Bay of Plenty quarrying


    42 Oct -01 2 Northland rats, mice

    contents missing. The frogs will be examined for evidence of the identity of the predator

    Hochstetters Frog : An intensive survey of Otawa Forest revealed one discrete population and two small outliers each with a few frogs. The main population lies very close to an area where a quarry exists, is potentially under threat and will require monitoring. Kaitaia Area staff have been busy setting up a new project to protect the Te Paki flax snail (Placostylus ambagiosus) populations from rodent predation..There will be four treatment sites to start with; two where rats and mice will be trapped, and two where we will trap only rats.

    55 Dec -04 3 Northland roading Hochstetter's frogs: Transit NZ are planning other works on the hill and every single stream there is occupied by frogs

    A combination of stormy weather and egg predation has not been good for New Zealand dotterel at Opoutere this season. In the


    44 Apr-02 6 Waikato

    storms, aerial predators

    worst year since a fulltime ranger has been employed at Opoutere, only six chicks fledged from 20 pairs. The early season nest predation was most likely from aerial predators and ceased when nests were covered.

    Permit workload is high with increasing numbers of research and tourist permits for the sub-Antarctic Islands (40 applications and

    39 Dec-00 15 Southland tourism


    44 Apr-02 2 Northland trout, smelt

    vehicles,

    they are still coming).

    It was concluded that any proposed restoration programmes for land-locked koaro needs to enhance the survival of these life stages, and manage the combined effects of trout and common smelt in both lake and respective tributary stream habitats

    The pateke released at Port Charles in May are doing very well. Since the release we have lost three birds to vehicle kills, one to

    55 Dec -04 4 Waikato

    starvation

    starvation, and two to predation

    The coastal moth Notoreas ‘Taranaki’ appears to be benefiting from work carried out by Jim Clarkson from the Stratford Area Office. Management of the coastal herbfields, where its host plant Pimelea urvillena grows, has continued with exhaustive hand

    45 Jun-02 8 Wanganui weeds


    1. Apr -03 14 Otago weeds

      weeding occurring. Moths have been found for the first time at one of the managed sites.

      Central Otago grasshopper ..investigating how the reduction of ground cover (predominantly introduced thyme) affects grasshopper abundance. Previous research has shown that grasshopper numbers were greatest in areas of low thyme density. These areas correspond with tailings which have been most recently mined. Mining ceased in the 1980s, and there is now a risk


      that weed invasion may alter the habitat and reduce grasshopper density


      51 Dec -03


      13

      Nelson/ Marlborough


      wetland loss

      Brown mudfish were once widespread throughout the entire region but wetland drainage and habitat modification has caused a huge decline in their numbers, with the reduction of the population to just one small part of Mangarakau.


      36 Apr-00 5

      36 Apr-00 5


      38 Sep -00 1

      46 Sep -02 12


    2. Jun -03 4 Auckland


    42 Oct -01 6 Bay of Plenty


    42 Oct -01 6 Bay of Plenty Big South

    image

  2. Predator Plague Quotes

Laurence services somewhere in the vicinity of 1000 bait stations and has recently completed a very thorough and comprehensive track marking and mapping exercise..This summer Laurence got rats to low levels despite apparent rodent plagues in many parts of the country Between 1989-97 the 1400-ha Mapara Wildlife Reserve received intensive goat, mustelid, possum, and rat control...As we expected, as soon as bait was removed from bait stations after the 1996/97 breeding season the rat population increased rapidly. Possum population increase has been predictably slower and now (after 3 years) is at 16% RTC. As we predicted, these high predator numbers have meant that very few kokako nests have been successful over the past 3 years: between 0-14% (according to season) of nests successfully fledged.

Various stoat control research projects have been carried out in the Eglinton Valley since 1990. Over the past 2 years continuous, low intensity stoat control has been undertaken using Mk VI Fenn traps..1999 was a beech mast year, and a stoat population irruption occurred during the following summer in response to the huge increase in rodent numbers. Kaka: An unusual feature of this breeding season was the high level of predation by ship rats - unrecorded in the Eglinton in previous 6 years of intensive nest monitoring.. Mohua: This summer we may not have lost any nests to stoats, but the huge increase in rat numbers and the associated rat predation is a major concern..To keep the stoat population at a low level with a low density of traps probably requires continual trapping. Further work is needed here on rat population dynamics in beech forests to determine whether lack of predators means a larger irruption in mast years or if climate is the major influence.

Mice continue to demonstrate their tenacity, or maybe toxin tolerance, by persisiting on Mokoia Island in Lake Rotorua, and Limestone Island in Whangarei Harbour. In both instances, it is despite two or more very determined eradication attempts. They (mice) quickly reach such low levels as to be impossible to detect, only to be re-detected five or six months later in the odd tracking tunnel. Normal pattern then, is for the place to soon become overrun with the critters.

We've also been out re-surveying coastal cress (Lepidium oleraceum) sites in the northern Mokohinau Islands. All our records of cress are 10 years or older, so it was time to re-check them. Six individual plants were found on only one stack. Rat eradication some years ago has left the islands predator-free and now honeycombed with bird burrows

A second application of Pestoff 20R (12mm diameter, 2-4 gram) Wanganui No. 7 cereal pellets containing 20ppm brodifacoum was dropped onto Mokoia Island (135.5 ha) by helicopter on 18 September. This will hopefully remove mice from the island. The first drop, undertaken in August reduced mouse numbers significantly, however we know from previous experience that they will increase again without control.

Next month, an 848 ha block within the 2,136 ha Mokaihaha E.A. is to be treated to reduce possum and rat numbers..Ground treatment is planned, with bait stations laid out on a 100-metre grid. Each station will have two pulses of non-toxic pre-feed, and then be followed up with 1080-impregnated cereal baits (Wanganui No.7). Six weeks later, a top up of pindone and feratox is planned to ensure that kokako juveniles fledge before rat numbers rise substantially.

Big South Cape ship rat plague: by the time we reached Big South Cape (five months after the first reports) many land bird populations had

53 Jun -04 1

Cape Island

already been almost totally destroyed.. rats are capable of inducing ecological collapse and extinction within naïve island faunas.

Mohua populations in the Hurunui Mainland Island have decreased significantly following a rat plague. In the North Branch, where up to 60 birds were monitored in past seasons, only one pair was relocated. In the South Branch, where a section of the valley is intensively monitored, the number of pairs declined from about 16 to two. Over the last six seasons, mohua productivity and numbers were increasing as

44 Apr-02 17 Canterbury

a result of stoat control, however rat plagues are a new phenomenon for DOC in the South Island with swift and catastrophic impacts.

52 Mar -04 19 Canterbury The orange-fronted parakeet (OFP) population crashed in the South Branch of the Hurunui during the rat plague of the 2000/01 summer.


53 Jun -04


13


Canterbury

The beech mast this season has extended the breeding season for the parakeets which is fantastic, but also means that a predator plague is likely to occur in the spring and summer.


55 Dec -04


14


Canterbury

With rat numbers on the rise, the Hawdon predator control regime has geared up a couple of notches. Staff have been busy putting out extra bait stations and adding extra bait bag lines to the valley, in the hope of curbing the rising rat numbers.


36 Apr-00


10


East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

The restoration phase of the Boundary Stream Mainland Island Project continues to gain momentum as the sustained reduction of pests and predators, produces visible changes to both plant and birdlife.. Given the additional pressure from rats this season which were implicated in the higher number of failed nests this year, a 55% nesting success is considered a favorable result.


36 Apr-00


16


Nelson/ Marlborough

The Mt Stokes mohua population has dropped dramatically. At the end of the 1998-99 summer there were around 90 birds, but now numbers are estimated at 27, of which only 6 are female. Predation by ship rats is thought to be the cause of the sudden decline.. Intensive trapping of stoats had been sufficient to protect the birds because rats had almost never been recorded at this altitude on Mt Stokes.


40 Mar-01


6

Nelson/ Marlborough

The apparent loss of the Mt Stokes mohua has been devastating. Numbers increased spectacularly with stoat control over the past 10 years, but an unprecedented irruption of ship rats during the winter of 1999 spelt their doom.


43 Dec-01


1


Northland

The latest field trip to the Placostylus ambagiosus subsp. Paraspiritus colony confirmed that there was a massive die-off there a couple of years back, and there are now fewer snails than when we started protection work in 1988. None of the other colonies have crashed. As the common garden snail also occurs here and also suffered a big die-off we are speculating that perhaps a disease event occurred. Norway rats invaded a small island (Snail Rock) off Purerua Peninsula about six months ago and seriously depleted the snails (P. hongii) there. Instead of well in excess of 100 snails, just 15 were found this time


38 Sep -00


11


Otago

quarterly mouse tracking lines and beech seed fall in the Caples and Dart Valleys have been completed. Both indices are up with mouse tracking rates averaging 43% in the Caples Valley and 73% in the Dart. Beech seed fall in the Dart is tapering off after reaching 3968 seed per square metre in March and 2336 in May this year. This is the third year that large numbers of beech seeds have been produced in the Dart.


47 Dec -02


16


Otago

After the last mast event numbers of mohua in the Caples have decreased dramatically. Mice numbers have bottomed out but recent mice tracking has shown a 30% tracking rate in the Caples.


50 Sep -03


15


Otago

We continue to have elevated numbers of mice in tracking tunnels and traps in the Catlins mohua areas. A number of rats have also turned up. As we did not have a beech seedfall event last autumn, the jury is out on what is happening and whether it will lead to a stoat eruption


53 Jun -04


15


Otago

Beech seed and rat and stoat numbers are all up in the Catlins..Coastal Otago staff are developing an operational plan for the Catlins to be able to implement control work when funds become available. The size of the operational area (12,600 ha) makes the planning phase of the operation just as difficult as any operational actions. Our focus is the protection of the large number of mohua found here (c. 2,000 birds). The key threat to plan for is stoat irruptions, but rats are also going to be part of the plan


54 Sep -04


14


Otago

funds to deal with the stoat irruption predicted in the core mohua habitat this summer. [staff are] now finding contractors and laying out lines for tracks so we can get the infrastructure in place well before the stoats are about this summer


55 Dec -04


16


Otago

It's all go at the Operation Ark site in the Catlins. We received money for stoat control but while in the process of preparing an operation plan, issues concerning rats arose; an observed doubling of rat abundance occurred between the start and end of October. Additional funds were secured for rat control leading to a big planning effort for a poisoning operation in two discrete areas with highest mohua densities. A team is now on the ground implementing that plan and getting baits out

39 Dec-00

15

Southland

Mohua Rat numbers are very high in the Eglinton Valley and appear to be causing heavy predation of mohua in the Eglinton this year.

39 Dec-00

17

Southland

Mohua: The Blue Mountains annual counts of mohua were down by between one third and one half on what would have been expected. This



42 Oct -01 14 Southland Tongariro/

image

may have been a result of weather conditions at the time and the fact that the birds were nesting. Numbers in Western Southland..were also down on last year. However, the numbers of stoats caught in the August trapping was higher than the numbers last year.

An experimental stoat control programme began in the Eglinton Valley during December 1997..Consecutive beech mast events have produced consecutive stoat plagues. Ship rat numbers have also reached very high numbers following these two beech mast events..staff.. have been monitoring kaka and mohua in the Eglinton Valley over the last few years. During the first stoat and rat plague (1999/00 summer) they recorded little if any predation of nesting mohua or kaka by stoats, however they recorded rats preying upon approximately 30% of nesting mohua. There was some concern that controlling stoats to low levels over an extended period in beech forest was contributing to this increase in rat numbers.

Dactylanthus: We are expecting a lot of damage to flowers from the high numbers of rodents left over from the previous season’s mast

36 Apr-00 12

44 Apr-02 9

Taupo

Tongariro/ Taupo

seeding.

Four months after an effective possum and rat knock-down by a 20,000-ha aerial 1080 operation over Tongariro Forest, stoats reappeared in the centre of the forest and began killing kiwi chicks. So far five of the 11 chicks have been predated, and all in the centre of the treatment area.. Rodent numbers remain surprisingly low, with the same tracking index recorded in February as in December (< 2.0%) [April 2002] radio tagged kaka in the Waipapa Restoration Area: A dramatic increase in fledgling mortality has been noted coinciding with a change to the pest control regime. Seventeen female chicks were monitored since the breeding season and excluding missing birds, eleven of fourteen

fledglings have died. Nine of these were probably (some certainly) killed by stoats. And just to show that the predators are not targeting birds wearing radio transmitters, one observation included finding the remains of two untagged kaka within the same den as a dead tagged bird.

So the results of a productive nesting season for kaka in the Waipapa has very much been let down by poor fledgling survival. The pest control regime was an aerial 1080 pollard operation in October. While this did offer protection during the time birds were nesting, as pest

47 Dec -02 4 Waikato


39 Dec-00 9 Wellington


46 Sep -02 8 West Coast


48 Apr -03 12 West Coast


52 Mar -04 21 West Coast

numbers increased, the level of protection decreased toward the end of the season when fledgling kaka become vulnerable.

taiko: Cat trapping has been underway in the area since September, and 25 cats have been caught so far. Early indications are that there are high rat numbers in the areas

Okarito Kiwi Zone: results from the rodent lines in March show that there has been a huge increase in rat abundance between March (3.5% tracking index) and August (80% tracking index). This correlates with our casual observations from the stoat trapping program which have indicated a much higher rat trapping rate than previously. We have also been noticing the capture of lactating female rat’s right throughout the winter months. It seems that rat numbers are higher within the sanctuary (80% tracking rate) as opposed to in the two areas in which do not have stoat trapping (38.6%)

The current rowi breeding season has been very disappointing. All 14 of the monitored chicks were dead by early January, with stoat predation being the major cause. A heavy rimu fruiting mast during autumn 2002, coupled with a mild winter caused a huge irruption of rats and stoats, coincided with the height of the rowi breeding season. Stoats completely saturated the core area during December and January, despite the rowi team doing extra buffer trap checks. In December 2002 and January 2003 137 and 173 stoats were caught respectively. This is compared with 23 and 55 for the same months the previous season. Similarly, rat numbers were 5-10 times higher this season compared with the same time last season.

The stoat control line in the Landsborough Valley has recently been extended down to Harper Flat, just above the confluence with the Clarke River. There are now 189 tunnels with two traps per tunnel in the valley, with 41 of these on the recent extension. On the last few trips it has been extremely encouraging to notice that mohua are more abundant.. Following a beech mast in 2000 and corresponding stoat plague in


2001, stoat numbers have steadily declined in 2002/03. Seven stoats were caught over a 10 week period this year compared with 23 from the same period in 2001


52 Mar -04


21


West Coast

Rat numbers increased following a heavy kahikatea fruiting, which in turn increased the stoat numbers in the Haast Tokoeka Sanctuary compared to previous years.



38 Sep -00

A stoat-trapping programme, aimed at protecting nesting taka

17 September and May. A total of 149 stoats were caught.

he, was established in [3 areas].. Ninety-two trap stations were serviced between


47 Dec -02

Tartar Valley Conservation Trust is a community conservation


1 and resulting pests caught

effort..Volunteers have been creating track lines and setting out possum traps since spring 2001 and in started using Fenn MK6 traps in February 2002. As an alternative visual lure, we placed golf balls in some tunnels, and used hens' eggs in others. We employ both single and double trap tunnels. Many rats (30+), nine stoats, one ferret, and one weasel, have all been captured in the golf ball traps. Of course we know that mustelids may even be caught in empty tunnels, and the successful traps may hold the scent of previous catch..However we plan to increase both the number of traps and total area controlled and will maintain records of bait used


49 Jun -03

Whio: Research in Fiordland over the last three years identifie

1 species..projects aimed at controlling predators to protect whi

d stoats preying on nesting females, chicks and eggs, as the greatest threat to the o are already underway in several sites.


42 Oct -01 7 Bay of Plenty

45 Jun -02 7 Bay of Plenty Ohope Scenic Reserve: 47 stoats and 10 cats were trapped in the reserve.

45 Jun -02 7 Bay of Plenty NZ Dotterel: Matakana:.. reports trapping 50 cats, 21 stoats, 237 possums, 36 rats, 115 mice and 1 dog on the island.


52 Mar -04 8 Bay of Plenty


44 Apr-02

Over the last six seasons, mohua productivity and numbers we

17 Canterbury phenomenon for DOC in the South Island with swift and catast

re increasing as a result of stoat control, however rat plagues are a new rophic impacts


48 Apr -03

whiteflippered penguin: At Flea and Stony bays, two neighbou properties for several years. In 2001 Akaroa DOC staff set up a ridges surrounding both colonies. The traps are open year rou

11 Canterbury their traps inside the DOC trapline, but have commented that t

ring farmers have trapped cats and ferrets in the penguin colonies on their trapline (containing 89 Fenn and Timms traps) protecting 1150 hectares on the nd and have caught numerous cats, ferrets and stoats..The landowners still have he catch rate of predators has dropped significantly.


43 Dec-01

The Whinray kiwi project: making steady progress after two se East Coast/ private farmland surrounding the reserve to reduce the rate of

9 Hawke's Bay can employ a trapper within the next two months.

asons of mustelid control..Their immediate aim is to carry out possum control on re-invasion. Traps and bait stations have been purchased and it is hoped the trust


52 Mar -04

Juvenile weka (aged between 1–3 months old) are trapped in t East Coast/ season.. 40% (n=10) and 8% (n=12) of monitored juveniles wer

11 Hawke’s Bay that trapping stoats does give juvenile weka a better chance of

he Whitikau Valley (no stoat trapping) and in the Motu Valley (stoat trapping) each e killed by stoats in the Whitikau and Motu valleys respectively. This would suggest survival than otherwise


54 Sep -04

East Coast/ North Island weka and kiwi: At Whinray Scenic Reserve we hav

6 Hawke’s Bay additional to the Fenns. The season’s first stoat has already be

e almost completed the deployment of our new stoat tunnels and DOC 200 traps, en caught


37 Jun -00

In an effort to enhance the effectiveness of predator control re East Coast/ for mustelids has been supplemented with a purpose designed

10 Hawke's Bay Diphacinone Ferret paste.

gimes a couple of experimental initiatives have been added to the suite. Trapping poison egg/trap box, which delivers 1080 injected hen eggs for stoats and a

naged by Rangitaiki Area staff. They monitor nine pairs and run a stoat-trapping


image


s predators that roam the island. Generally, the number of predators killed was oats were responsible for the death of a number of dotterel and variable

pane Point..there were 30 dotterel nests on the Maketu Spit but sadly not one s site due to a lack of resources and other complications



38 Sep -00


5


East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

The NTUERP [Northern Te Urewera Ecosystem Restoration Programme] continues to show impressive results following another season of pest control and outcome monitoring.. At Otamatuna, stoat control has resulted in 70% of monitored kiwi chicks surviving to over 1000 g (the ‘stoat- proof’ weight) during the past 4 years of management. This compares to a 5% survival rate in other unmanaged North Island sites. A breakthrough in stoat control developed by NTUERP may have been achieved using freeze-dried rats as a lure to trap stoats. When placed under a plastic cover these rats have remained effective in trapping stoats for up to 6 weeks under field conditions. Two hundred and eighty tunnels each containing two Fenn traps were set along 42 km of lines on ridges, spurs and streams covering 1500 ha. The tunnels were alternately lured with a freeze-dried rat and plastic egg (which, along with hen eggs, are currently the best longlasting stoat lure) in one tunnel, followed by a plastic egg in the next. Over a 3- month period 57 stoats were caught. Fifty (88%) were caught in tunnels containing the freeze-dried rats, which is significantly higher than the number caught using plastic eggs alone (p<0.001, Fischer’s exact test). Kokako numbers continue to increase at a rapid rate


43 Dec-01


9


East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

weka: A grant of $2,500 has been received..This will significantly improve the weka habitat within the enclosure by creating more wetland area, and employing a mustelid trapper. Weka are surviving within the enclosure, but considerable on-going effort is required to control cats and mustelids


44 Apr-02


9


East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

North Island weka: The first area is in the Motu Valley.. where trapping for mustelids, cats and possums takes place. The second area is in the Whitikau Valley about 20 km north of Motu. This area is un-trapped.. Of the four dead birds, three were predated by stoats and the other was either predated or scavenged by a cat. From the Motu area, three juveniles are still alive. Of the other two birds, one had wandered two kilometres beyond the trapped area and was predated by a stoat.


53 Jun -04


8

East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

Boundary Stream: Rat and possum numbers are maintained at zero, and intensive trapping restricts mustelids and cats to outside the reserve boundaries


43 Dec-01


2


Northland

specially trained dog , Tui, to search for stoat dens..then controlled using the fumigant Magtoxin. This method removes a large number of individuals in one action, as well as targets female stoats, which are considered to be harder to trap. It allows active searching for the predators rather than relying on traps that might be avoided. Fifteen dens were located but only three were successfully controlled. This was due to not all tunnels being located and blocked, so the fumigant wasn’t effective, and the animal escaped. In total, 20 stoats were removed; as we usually catch 30-40 stoats a year in the Trounson Park traps, this was a significant number. This year was considered to be more of a pilot study than operational, and we are hoping to continue for the next few years


36 Apr-00


16

Nelson/ Marlborough

The Mt Stokes mohua population has dropped dramatically...Predation by ship rats is thought to be the cause of the sudden decline..Intensive trapping of stoats had been sufficient to protect the birds because rats had almost never been recorded at this altitude on Mt Stokes.


37 Jun -00


1


Nelson/ Marlborough

Kaka: Nelson Lakes National Park: Baseline research by DSIR/Landcare in Big Bush Conservation Area documented the previously appalling productivity of kaka there in the absence of predator control. Only 2 of 20 nesting attempts monitored over an 11-year period were successful, producing just 4 young. Over the same time period 4 of 7 radio-tagged females were killed on the nest by predators, probably stoats. Three season’s data has now been collected since the beginning of predator control in the Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project (RNRP) area.. In the first season of our study a poison bait-station grid was in place to control rats and possums, but, because Fenn trap-lines for stoats were not yet in place, we used aluminium tree ‘bands’ and a ring of Fenn traps around each nest to protect these from stoats. All four nests monitored that season were successful, fledging 12 young. While they seemed effective, the localised nest protection measures we used that season are relatively impractical because you need to know where the nests are before you can protect them. Once Fenn traplines were established we stopped localised nest protection so that we could evaluate this more widely applicable method of stoat control in combination with the existing


bait-station grid. Six of the 8 nesting attempts completed since the establishment of Fenn trap-lines have been successful. The 2 nests that failed did so because of predation on nestlings and eggs, no female birds were killed. Even without including our first season’s data, the difference between these results and the DSIR/Landcare data is so great that probability of it occurring by chance is only about 1 in 1000. To exclude the possibility that we had struck years of unusually low predator numbers we concurrently monitored kaka nesting success at Lake Rotoroa (20 km from the RNRP area) where there was no predator control. At the same time that most pairs were nesting successfully at Rotoiti, 9 of 10 nesting attempts at Lake Rotoroa failed due to predation on eggs, nestlings, or nesting females. The probability of this difference in nesting success between the RNRP area and Lake Rotoroa being due to chance is about 1 in 100. From the population perspective it is the predation of nesting females that is the most damaging. Last summer alone we lost 3 of 5 nesting females to predators at Lake Rotoroa.


45 Jun-02


12

Nelson/ Marlborough

A local community group calling themselves the Friends of Flora have completed their first season of stoat control along 8km of the Flora Stream with the intention of protecting all forest bird species with particular emphasis on blue duck. So far they have accounted for 17 stoats


46 Sep -02


6

Nelson/ Marlborough

A local community group known as the Friends of Flora have established and run a stoat line over this winter along 8km of the Flora Stream with the hope of protecting Blue Duck from stoats.. 13 stoats have been dispatched.


49 Jun -03


13


Nelson/ Marlborough

A local initiative with commercial tourist operators and members of the Marahau community has seen the establishment of a long-term stoat control programme on the 87 ha Adele Island off the southern Abel Tasman NP coast. Work involved the construction of a loop track around the island, building and installing trap boxes, a month of prefeeding, and maintaining set traps. The island is within 1.2 kilometres of the mainland so the traps will be tended indefinitely. This maintenance work will be undertaken by the local sea kayaking and water taxi companies


50 Sep -03


12


Nelson/ Marlborough

Blue duck: Flora Stream: protection involves in excess of 50 kilometres of stoat lines. In addition to the work in the Flora Stream, the habitat of the three pairs contributing the eggs will also be protected from stoats, with the hope that they will re-nest and successfully raise their second clutch. A mountain of stoat tunnels is being created..The project builds on an existing community project with a keen group of locals calling themselves “Friends of Flora”.


52 Mar -04


17

Nelson/ Marlborough

In order to conserve whio, 568 double stoat traps have been placed to protect 4,500 ha of the Flora Stream catchment from stoats. This involved a massive job of trap tunnel construction and track cutting.


36 Apr-00


19


Otago

The stoat trapping response in the Dart went off very well with just under 100 stoats caught. Stoat numbers were well down in the part of the Catlins that was trapped. It seems possible that a recent AHB 1080 possum drop has impacted on stoat numbers.


37 Jun -00


17


Otago

Between October 1999 and February 2000 mohua nest monitoring occurred in the Caples and Dart valleys..This was part of a stoat control study..The Caples was used as the control site, where no predator control was carried out..There was a 69% success rate in the Caples and 80% in the Dart...reasons for these nest failures including floods, abandonment, predation, and long tail cuckoo parasitism


39 Dec-00


14


Otago

Giant skinks: The predator control pressure at MacCraes is finally starting to have an impact with cat and ferret totals caught this year being substantially lower than last year. Overall we have removed at least 138 cats, 161 ferrets, 26 rats, 13 stoats, and 17 weasels from about 700 ha of tussock grassland. This achievement has taken the efforts of 1.5 full time people.


40 Mar-01


9


Otago

Trap lines for stoats in the Makarora Valley continue to catch stoats. Recently numbers are dropping off, and the rate of rat captures is increasing slightly. This work is a joint operation with the Upper Clutha Branch of Forest and Bird, which has developed a sponsorship package. For $50 individuals can purchase a tunnel and trap for inclusion in the line. Stoat numbers in the Dart remain high, but rat numbers are decreasing.

40 Mar-01

9

Otago

.. recently renewed traps on the islands in Lake Wakatipu. A subsequent check showed that 5 stoats had been caught


41 Jun -01


11


Otago

recent checks of traps on Pig, Pigeon and Tree Islands in Lake Wakatipu revealed four stoats. At about the same time the traps along the lakeshore caught 13 stoats.



48 Apr -03


13


Otago

Predator trapping to protect mohua at Makarora by the Upper Clutha branch of Forest & Bird has continued over the summer. Stoat numbers are well down compared with the numbers caught last year


53 Jun -04


15


Otago

Beech seed and rat and stoat numbers are all up in the Catlins..Coastal Otago staff are developing an operational plan for the Catlins to be able to implement control work when funds become available. The size of the operational area (12,600 ha) makes the planning phase of the operation just as difficult as any operational actions. Our focus is the protection of the large number of mohua found here (c. 2,000 birds). The key threat to plan for is stoat irruptions, but rats are also going to be part of the plan


54 Sep -04


14


Otago

funds to deal with the stoat irruption predicted in the core mohua habitat this summer...now finding contractors and laying out lines for tracks so we can get the infrastructure in place well before the stoats are about this summer


38 Sep -00


1


Southland

Various stoat control research projects have been carried out in the Eglinton Valley since 1990. Over the past 2 years continuous, low intensity stoat control has been undertaken using Mk VI Fenn traps. Trap sites are spaced at 200 m intervals along a 45 km line that runs the length of the valley, with a short line across the valley at the top and bottom. Each of the 198 sites consists of a wooden tunnel with two Fenn traps. Traps are baited with a hen’s egg or/and a piece of meat. The trapline takes 1+ days to service and is usually checked monthly..The effectiveness of this stoat control is evaluated by monitoring breeding and survival of colour-banded mohua and radio-tagged female kaka.1999 was a beech mast year, and a stoat population irruption occurred during the following summer in response to the huge increase in rodent numbers. The beech forest seeded heavily in 1999 and in 2000, and kaka breeding was widespread. Kaka in the Eglinton Valley generally start nesting in January when stoats are most abundant. In 1999 two nests failed at the chick stage owing to predation by either a stoat or possum..This season we lost three nests, one with eggs and two with chicks, and 2 females were killed probably by a stoat. All five nests that have been lost were the most distant from the trapline..No mohua fledged before juvenile stoats were being caught in the Fenn traps..66% of nests fledged, 37% of females were lost but a stoat may have killed only one of these. An unusual feature of this breeding season was the high level of predation by ship rats - unrecorded in the Eglinton in previous 6 years of intensive nest monitoring.. It appears that stoat control carried out at this low intensity provides sufficient protection to markedly reduce stoat predation on breeding mohua and kaka..Stoat control..appears to be effective for mohua breeding because during the 1990 stoat irruption we lost 60% of females and nests in an untrapped area. This summer we may not have lost any nests to stoats, but the huge increase in rat numbers and the associated rat predation is a major concern. The Te Anau area has had two mild winters and there is some suggestion that this results in high rat populations in beech forest. High rat numbers have been recorded elsewhere in South Island beech forests this past summer – in areas where no stoat control has been undertaken. If a permanently higher rat population were a result of continual stoat trapping, there would be serious consequences for many bird species. It could be suggested that stoat trapping be initiated only following beech mast years, but for kaka, at least, stoat control would need to occur during the previous summer when beech flowering initiates widespread breeding. If some kaka breeding occurs in all years then continual stoat control is preferable, because we knew of no successful kaka nests in the Eglinton Valley before we initiated stoat control. To keep the stoat population at a low level with a low density of traps probably requires continual trapping. Further work is needed here on rat population dynamics in beech forests to determine whether lack of predators means a larger irruption in mast years or if climate is the major influence.


38 Sep -00


13


Southland

Blue Mountains mohua: 12 stoats were caught in 35,280 corrected trapnights (CTN). Over the five summers that the lines have been operated the number of stoats caught tallied 13, 6, 12, 5, and 12 respectively. Because of the extremely heavy beech seedfall of the preceding autumn and the predicted consequent mouse and stoat plague, a further three trap lines were installed in and about an area with a particularly high Mohua population. These lines were operated over November and December only and accounted for 11 stoats in 13,556.5 CTN. Given that the mouse index trapping undertaken in November 1999 resulted in a 33-fold increase in numbers caught compared with any of the preceding 5 years, the


lack of a significant increase in the number of stoats caught was somewhat unexpected. Therefore one tends to the conclusion that for reasons unknown in the Blue Mountains there is a low population of stoats and/or that a stoat irruption does not necessarily follow a major beech mast year and a subsequent significant increase in mouse numbers.


38 Sep -00


13


Southland

Te Kakahu Is: no sign of stoats was detected. The trap line on the adjacent mainland (a distance of 1100 m away) was checked again but not cleared and approximately 80% of the 108 traps set was still available to catch stoats. Only 5 stoats and a few rats were in the traps. This trap line was last cleared during February 2000. This is particularly encouraging, because even after a stoat plague year it looks as though two trap checks per year will be sufficient on the mainland. If no further sign of stoats has been detected on either the Passage Islands or Te Kakahu by February 2001 we expect to be able to say with some confidence that all stoats have been eradicated. By then the project will have been through consecutive stoat plague years on the mainland and two stoat breeding seasons on Te Kakahu, and it will have been 20 months since the last stoat sign was recorded. Trained stoat dogs are also taken on each trip to Te Kakahu and have yet to find any sign there.


39 Dec-00


15


Southland

Whio: Two of the three videoed nests have been visited by stoats and one also by a possum. A stoat destroyed one of the nests and the female survived, while the other female managed to defend her nest from a stoat and a possum although the stoat stole one egg. A third female was thought to have just begun incubating when she was killed, she was found pulled under a rock with stoat scats surrounding her..the impacts of stoats on whio..[are] probably more serious than most expected. The impact is possibly worse this year than normal because of the mild winter and double beech mast, but the sex imbalance suggests that this has been an ongoing problem. A stoat trap line along the same design as the Eglinton programme has recently been set up in the Clinton Catchment.


39 Dec-00


17


Southland

Mohua: Numbers in Western Southland..were..down on last year. However, the numbers of stoats caught in the August trapping was higher than the numbers last year.


42 Oct -01


14


Southland

An experimental stoat control programme began in the Eglinton Valley during December 1997. The aim was to determine if low intensity, continuous stoat control could protect mohua and kaka from stoat predation. Consecutive beech mast events have produced consecutive stoat plagues. Ship rat numbers have also reached very high numbers following these two beech mast events..During the first stoat and rat plague (1999/00 summer) they recorded little if any predation of nesting mohua or kaka by stoats, however they recorded rats preying upon approximately 30% of nesting mohua. There was some concern that controlling stoats to low levels over an extended period in beech forest was contributing to this increase in rat numbers. If this is the case, it has serious implications for many of our stoat control programmes in beech forest.


42 Oct -01


17


Southland

The Anchor Island project is part of the “Evaluating a low intensity stoat control regime on large inshore islands” project. The objective is to determine if stoats can be eradicated from an island within stoat swimming range and then managed to a low enough level to allow threatened species to thrive. The eradication technique used was similar to that used on Te Kakahu but with less tracks and traps per hectare and less follow up checks. If this reduced level of effort is successful then it will be realistic to use this technique on much larger islands such as Secretary.

Anchor Island lies at the mouth of Dusky Sound and is 1130 ha in size. The western end of the island is all reasonably low rolling country with some large tussock areas near the higher points. There is a high point rising to just over 400m at the eastern end of the island. Vegetation comprises of mixed podocarp and beech forest. No sign of rodents have been recorded on the island. Anchor Island is 1250 metres from Resolution Island, which also has stoats. However there are a number of small stepping stone islands between both Resolution, the mainland, and Anchor Island. All of these islands have permanent stoat traps in place, making it very difficult for stoats to re-invade Anchor. Although long- term stoat free status is not the sole aim of this project, if achieved it does give us more confidence in the eradication technique. The next phase of the research project will involve attempted eradication of stoats from an island much closer to the mainland (possibly Secretary) followed by


introduction of a stoat-vulnerable species. Trapping began mid July to take advantage of the time of the year when stoats are most hungry. Tracks were cut on Anchor during May and June. A combination of aluminium, wire, and wooden trap tunnels were placed at 150m intervals along tracks, and pre-baited twice during June and July. Set Fenn traps with their safety catches on were placed in one quarter of these tunnels during the pre-baiting period to ensure that stoats were comfortable using the tunnels and would begin associating them with easy food. Traps were set in all tunnels on the 21 and 22 July, and were baited with meat or eggs. Eighteen stoats were captured in total, with seventeen of these captured after the first two nights. Stoat captures were spread evenly across the island. Of the eighteen stoats, twelve were females and six were males. At the end of this initial trapping session, all traps were left set and baited with eggs both inside and outside. A piece of beef was also left inside each tunnel. Traps were also left set on most of the large islands surrounding Anchor to ensure any animals living there are captured. The most significant difference between Anchor and Te Kakahu is the number of follow up trips. During the first year, traps on Anchor and the surrounding islands will be checked only twice (November and February), compared with every second month on Te Kakahu. The next check on Anchor will be November, when five tracking tunnel lines and trained stoat-detection dogs will be used to check for stoat presence. The results so far are very encouraging and a conclusive result should be available by February 2002. Although this project was primarily a research project, if successful it will provide another very valuable island, on which to restore some of Fiordland’s wildlife. It will also have been achieved at a very minimal cost.


45 Jun-02


19


Southland

Stoat traps were set on Anchor Island (1300 ha) in July 2001 after a three week pre-baiting period. Traps were checked twice during a six day trip in July. Nineteen stoats were caught during this initial trapping period. Traps were left baited and set after this first trip. A team returned to the island in November 2001 and found another three stoats in the traps. All of these stoats were very decomposed and had probably been caught for some time. The next trap service took place in February 2002 and no stoats were caught. If any females were still on the island we would have expected to catch some young animals. The island was checked again in May and again no stoats were caught. Anchor Island is 1250m from Resolution Island but there are four stepping stone islands in this stretch of water which provide resting places for stoats. Traps on Anchor Island and four stepping stone islands will be serviced twice annually from now. Clearing these islands of stoats is still very much experimental but seems to be relatively straight-forward and low cost. However there will need to be ongoing servicing to maintain stoat free status


48 Apr -03


15


Southland

This project was set up in 2001 to see if the current stoat control regime (193 trap boxes with two Mark 4 Fenn traps placed 200m apart along the valley floor and up two side branches) is sufficient to protect juvenile kiwi.. three [monitored chicks] were predated by stoats. During the 2002/03 breeding season.. five were predated by stoats.. For the coming season the team aim to..extend the trap line


49 Jun -03


22


Southland

takahe in Fiordland: The 15000 ha stoat control block had all traplines (800 double trap sets) finally completed early last summer. Over the summer/autumn period, 122 stoats were taken out of the area. We are monitoring kiwi, mohua and takahe to assess the effectiveness of this trapping programme. Mohua counts will be carried out both inside and outside the stoat control area each October.

50 Sep -03

16

Southland

Doubtful Islands in Lake Te Anau, putting out more stoat traps on Erin Island and the mainland.


52 Mar -04


26


Southland

The summer servicing of the 15,000 ha stoat control block in the southeast sector of the Murchison Mountains will be completed over February. All traps will be cleared and re-baited

53 Jun -04

18

Southland

autumn re-baiting of stoat traps within the 15,000 hectare stoat control block of the Murchison Mountains.


55 Dec -04


17


Southland

Kiwi monitoring in the stoat trapped and non-trapped blocks of the Murchison Mountains is progressing, with some chicks having now hatched and several birds still incubating. Last week the first sign of stoat predation was picked up with one, possibly two, chicks having been preyed upon in the non-trapped area

43 Dec-01

7

Tongariro/

Tongariro Forest Kiwi Sanctuary: Evidence is mounting of an exceptionally good kill of possums and rats following the 20,000 ha September aerial


Taupo

1080 operation. Stoats also appear to have been controlled. The race between kiwi chicks trying to grow to a safer weight and stoats re-invading the forest is now on.


47 Dec -02


8

Tongariro/ Taupo

North Island brown kiwi in the Tongariro Forest Kiwi Sanctuary: Planning is underway to move from one to large scale, low density stoat trapping at the site.


37 Jun -00


8


Waikato

Since 1 July 1999 we have caught only 26 stoats [in Kuaotunu Kiwi Sanctuary]..The NZ Conibear traps, on their raised kiwi safe sets baited with raw fat, have been our best trap set. However, most of the stoats caught recently were in Fenn traps baited with plastic eggs. We..may introduce other baits to the traps at intervals throughout the year to cater for any dietary variations..a shipment of Fenn traps..will be used to extend our trapping area to approximately 3500 ha.


39 Dec-00


4


Waikato

the contractor became quite enthused about kiwi protection..[and] offered two of his staff for a day a week for 3 years to trap stoats for kiwi protection..[volunteers and] key landowners then established the Whenuakite Kiwi Care Group. Waikato Regional Council has given financial support to purchase trap sets because the block is one of their key ecological sites. The contractor is currently working on placing trap sets throughout the block. The work should be completed and fully operational by the end of the year. This is a great example of what can happen in a short time when keen landowners, and regional and central government get together.


41 Jun -01


3


Waikato

Moehau Kiwi Zone: The first 4000 ha are underway with stoats appearing in traps from the first day of opening..Summary of stoat catch this summer: November 1 December 24 January 17 February 10 March 7 April 3


42 Oct -01


5


Waikato

Kiwi Zone: From the 4,000 hectares under a trapping regime at Moehau so far, we have killed nearly 100 stoats...A possum hunter handed in a young kiwi caught in a ground-set trap near Coromandel town. This bird is being rehabilitated by Auckland Zoo.. and we are doing some public relations work relating to setting traps off the ground to protect kiwi


44 Apr-02


5


Waikato

We are fast approaching having caught 250 stoats at Moehau Kiwi Zone, but numbers are dropping off as we extend out to the full coverage intended. So far we have had three out of twelve chicks predated.


46 Sep -02


3


Waikato

The second kiwi breeding season since stoat trapping began in the Moehau Kiwi Sanctuary is underway. Staff are hopeful for a repeat performance of the chick survival of the previous breeding season (>75% survival).


50 Sep -03


4


Waikato

Port Charles..Coromandel: joint effort between DOC, Ducks Unlimited, the Brown Teal Conservation Trust and the local community includes large areas of cat and stoat control


53 Jun -04


4


Waikato

Ten [kiwi] chicks have died this season; five from suspected mustelid (stoat or weasel) predation..This is a much higher death rate than in previous years, despite the predator trapping catching significantly fewer stoats and extending the trapping network. We have caught more weasels, however, and they may be responsible for some of the predation.


54 Sep -04


4


Waikato

Moehau Environment Group’s work..currently installing about 600 stoat traps over 6,000 ha immediately adjacent to the southern boundary of MKS. We hope they stop all stoats from entering the Moehau area. The total area trapped will be about 25,000 ha by the end of 2004! Stoat catch rates have declined again at Moehau, with only 113 caught during 2003/04 (1,723 traps), compared with 383 in 2001/02 (1,000 traps) and 299 in 2002/03 (1,500 traps).

49 Jun -03

12

Wanganui

Whio: Two males have been predated by stoats outside the mustelid control area.


51 Dec -03


11


Wanganui

kiwi in Egmont National Park: action started this November with the installation of stoat traps over 4,500 ha of the park. This has been achieved through funding from the Wanganui Conservancy and the New Plymouth District Council. As funding allows, it is planned to expand the area of stoat trapping to over 12,000 ha in the next 5 years.

51 Dec -03

11

Wanganui

A one-year trial predator control and monitoring study has started.. a line of stoat traps has been installed along one bank of the Manganui-a-te-


ao. An angler reported a stoat attack on a duckling. Two females were killed by predators on the nest..It is hoped that further funding will be secures to expand stoat control to both sides of the river


52 Mar -04


12


Wanganui

A major effort by the Stratford Area Office in January and February has seen the installation of 650 double set trap boxes over 4,000 ha of Egmont National Park. The project is a collaboration between the Department, the Taranaki Kiwi Trust and the Central North Island Blue Duck Conservation Charitable Trust. The new traps are mainly DOC 200s, and a trial line of Thumper traps has also been established.


52 Mar -04


12


Wanganui

Blue duck: Manganui-a-te-ao, a tributary of the Whanganui. Limited stoat control was put in place, with a single line of double set Fenn traps along one side of the river. Of the nine nests that failed, two had females predated whilst incubating

54 Sep -04

7

Wanganui

kiwi in Egmont National Park: A 6,000 hectare stoat trapping operation is in place


44 Apr-02


13


Wellington

wild kaka.. Mt Bruce: The two natural nest sites were unsuccessful – one was breached by a stoat, which killed two chicks, and one nest was abandoned. Despite predator control over 75ha, two adults, two chicks and two fledglings have been lost; stoats look to be the main culprits.


39 Dec -00


11


West Coast

The biodiversity package has resulted in increased funding [and we can now] trial a large-scale stoat control programme over the entire known range of rowi (10,000 ha). Meetings with predator specialists have suggested that protecting rowi chicks over an area of this size using a traditional trapping regime is likely to be a challenging but realistic goal. It is intended that approximately 250 km of trap lines will be established with about 1500 tunnels containing Fenn traps at 200 m spacing along the lines.


40 Mar -01


8


West Coast

kiwi: 16 rodent index lines installed. Rimu seedfall is being monitored, and the track system for the stoat control project is under construction. The stoat control project will be fully operational by the first week in June in readiness for the upcoming breeding season.


42 Oct -01


12


West Coast

The Landsborough Valley near Haast holds the best remnant population of mohua on the West Coast. Beech seedfall counts indicated that a beech mast event would occur during the summer of 2000-2001. In response to this, South Westland Area established a stoat control line through the core mohua habitat in the valley during November 2000. The trapline consists of 93 timber tunnels with double set Mark IV Fenn traps, baited with a single hen egg. The line was checked monthly from November 2000 to April 2001, and again in July 2001. Over this period, a total of 91 stoats, three ship rats and one mouse were caught. Of the stoats caught, 41% were female, 49% were male. Approximately 60% of the animals caught were classed as juveniles (less than four months old) and the remaining c. 40% adults. This trapping regime will continue throughout the year.


42 Oct -01


13


West Coast

This is also our first breeding season with the increased project..The aim this year is to monitor the survival of 30 rowi chicks in South Okarito Forest in conjunction with a stoat trapping program..extra funding from the kiwi zones, has given us the freedom to pursue our ultimate goal of kiwi protection in the wild. The stoat trapping program, which covers an area of 10,000+ ha, is now completely installed and has been running since early June. It was a mammoth task, involving the installation of 200 km of cut tracks and 1500 tunnels and fenn traps. The results in terms of dead stoats are certainly impressive. The first two checks yielded about 170 stoats.


43 Dec -01


14


West Coast

The Haast tokoeka: The stoat control is in full swing and the captures so far have been low, since 19 June 2001, 57 stoats have been caught. We are hopeful this low number is a reflection on the number of stoats present in the forest. We expect numbers to increase as young stoats start to disperse. The core stoat control area is just under 12,000 ha, and including the perimeter and buffer, there are 615 tunnels..Other monitoring currently being set up includes rodent and stoat monitoring using 15 lines with ten tunnels per line.


44 Apr -02


19


West Coast

Okarito Kiwi Zone: Of the 22 chicks detected, eight are still surviving in the wild.. Fourteen have been found dead, and 12 of these are confirmed predation There have been 446 stoats caught since trapping began..and there was an increase in the number of captures on the buffer during December and January that coincided with increased mortality of rowi chicks.

45 Jun -02

13

West Coast

This represents the first significant natural recruitment [of rowi] since the program began in the early 1990s..It is an indicator that the stoat


control program, which has removed in excess of 540 stoats from the 10,000ha area, is at least partially successful..Stoats were implicated in at least 12 of the 14 kiwi chick deaths that occurred this year. It is hoped that as the program goes on stoat numbers will continue to lower as trapping techniques are fine tuned


46 Sep -02 8 West Coast

Okarito Kiwi Zone: We are now well into the 2002/03 kiwi breeding season. Fifteen eggs have been detected to date and the first chicks are expected to be hatching towards the end of September. Six of last years chicks are still surviving in the forest; five of these have surpassed 1kg with one lagging well behind on 660g.. The results from the rodent lines in March show that there has been a huge increase in rat abundance between March (3.5% tracking index) and August (80% tracking index). This correlates with our casual observations from the stoat trapping program which have indicated a much higher rat trapping rate than previously. We have also been noticing the capture of lactating female rat’s right throughout the winter months. It seems that rat numbers are higher within the sanctuary (80% tracking rate) as opposed to in the two areas in which do not have stoat trapping (38.6%) although this will not be confirmed until the November tracking session is completed. It will be interesting to see whether stoat numbers increase this summer in response to the increased rat abundance and if so how effectively the trapping program deals with this increase. We are still continuing to catch the odd stoat in the kiwi zone (four this month) although over half of all captures now are in the buffer lines which are just outside the kiwi zone. Since May 2001 there have been a total of 605 stoats caught.


48 Apr -03 12 West Coast

The current rowi breeding season has been very disappointing. All 14 of the monitored chicks were dead by early January, with stoat predation being the major cause. A heavy rimu fruiting mast during autumn 2002, coupled with a mild winter caused a huge irruption of rats and stoats, coincided with the height of the rowi breeding season. Stoats completely saturated the core area during December and January, despite the rowi team doing extra buffer trap checks. In December 2002 and January 2003 137 and 173 stoats were caught respectively. This is compared with 23 and 55 for the same months the previous season..The plague of stoats has also caused the postponement of the planned February release of 50 juvenile pateke (brown teal).


49 Jun -03 18 West Coast

Whio: staff worked long hours to establish 25 kilometres of stoat traps along the Oparara, Nimrodel and Postal rivers. To date, 59 stoats have been caught. During June 2003, an additional 16 kilometres of trap lines are going in, giving more complete coverage of the area.


52 Mar -04 21 West Coast

The stoat control line in the Landsborough Valley has recently been extended down to Harper Flat, just above the confluence with the Clarke River. There are now 189 tunnels with two traps per tunnel in the valley, with 41 of these on the recent extension. On the last few trips it has been extremely encouraging to notice that mohua are more abundant; the results of November’s mohua monitoring confirm this abundance. We heard an average of 1.03 mohua per five minute bird count, a total of 183 mohua. This is a very positive result compared to the previous averages of 0.60 in 2002 and 0.52 in 1998. Following a beech mast in 2000 and corresponding stoat plague in 2001, stoat numbers have steadily declined in 2002/03. Seven stoats were caught over a 10 week period this year compared with 23 from the same period in 2001


55 Dec -04 15 West Coast

rowi chicks have hatched in the [Oakarito] Sanctuary: There has been no predation of chicks as yet and rat and stoat numbers are low compared to recent years


7. Rat Trapping Quotes


36 Apr-00


5

The Mangatutu kokako: All the pest control continues to be successfully carried out by Laurence Gordon and the odd volunteer under his supervision. Laurence services somewhere in the vicinity of 1000 bait stations and has recently completed a very thorough and comprehensive track marking and mapping exercise, which will enable volunteers and future workers to find every bait station! This summer Laurence got rats to low levels despite apparent rodent plagues in many parts of the country


47 Dec -02


1

Tararu Valley Conservation: Volunteers have been creating track lines and setting out possum traps since spring 2001 and in started using Fenn MK6 traps in February 2002. As an alternative visual lure, we placed golf balls in some tunnels, and used hens' eggs in others. We employ both single and double trap tunnels. Many rats (30+), nine stoats, one ferret, and one weasel, have all been captured in the golf ball traps..we plan to increase both the number of traps and total area controlled and will maintain records of bait used and resulting pests caught.

45 Jun -02

7

Bay of Plenty

NZ Dotterel: Witana Murray reports trapping 50 cats, 21 stoats, 237 possums, 36 rats, 115 mice and 1 dog


52 Mar -04


7


Bay of Plenty

Kaharoa Forest was treated using feracol in bait stations for rat control, but.. numbers were not reduced to the required level. Furthermore, the kokako breeding season was very poor for a number of reasons. Onaia Ecological Area (EA) rodent results were 6% r.t.i (West Block) and 13% r.t.i (East Block). Possum numbers were kept to the 5% threshold (per 100 trap nights). To complicate matters further, the kokako started breeding late and were very sporadic, despite it being a good fruiting season.


55 Dec -04


14


Canterbury

orange-fronted kakariki: Two nests have so far been located.. one in the Hawdon Valley and one in the Hurunui. Both these nests are protected with tin wraps and a ring of Fenn traps at their base. It is quite early in season to be having nests already, especially at the chick stage. Further searches will continue and all nests found in the wild will get this same nest protection treatment. With rat numbers on the rise, the Hawdon predator control regime has geared up a couple of notches. Staff have been busy putting out extra bait stations and adding extra bait bag lines to the valley, in the hope of curbing the rising rat numbers.


37 Jun -00


10

East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

In an effort to enhance the effectiveness of predator control regimes a couple of experimental initiatives have been added to the suite. A rodent- based form of Cholecalciferol (Feracol) is being trialed in a section of the reserve as a means of achieving sustained rat control.


38 Sep -00


5


East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

The NTUERP [Northern Te Urewera Ecosystem Restoration Programme] continues to show impressive results following another season of pest control and outcome monitoring.. there are four core [intensive management] areas: Two of these areas (Otamatuna and Mangaone) used ‘Pindone’ poison to control rats, whereas Onepu and Waikokopu used the novel non-poison technique of trapping rats in corflute tunnels baited with peanut butter. Surprisingly, the trapping outperformed the poisoning method, reducing rat tracking indices much faster and keeping them at very low levels for longer than the poisoning method.


50 Sep -03


8

East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

Kiwi: Nesting has once again started on the Puketukutuku Peninsula..Unfortunately once again the spectre of pigs uprooting trapping tunnels has arisen, with one pig captured containing a large number of rats from our snap traps as well


52 Mar -04


11

East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

Dactylanthus taylori: Intensive trapping for rats and possums, and opportunistic stoat trapping, makes this locality a mainland island in all but name.


53 Jun -04


8

East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

Due to low numbers of rats, stoats and cats, we feel Boundary Stream is the ideal place to do this (release kokako). Rat and possum numbers are maintained at zero


42 Oct -01


2


Northland

Te Paki flax snail..predation: Rodents at these sites were previously controlled with bromadiolone, but due to changes in the DOC pest control QCM process, the high level of recreational pig hunting in the area, and iwi concerns about poison use, we had to come up with an alternative method. This year we received Biodiversity funding for Placostylus protection, so we now have the resources to trap rodents at the priority


Placostylus sites. There will be four treatment sites to start with; two where rats and mice will be trapped, and two where we will trap only rats. If time and resources allow, the trapping will be extended to more sites.


45 Jun-02


3


Northland

Five colonies of the Te Paki pupuharakeke (flax snail) are being managed for rodents by a trapping operation. Each operation is over a 150m diameter circle containing 57 trapping tunnels with two rat traps per tunnel, and four mouse traps. Tunnels are 25m apart on a 50m grid. Indexing is done every three months to check the impact on rodent numbers in the trapping site.


39 Dec-00


14


Otago

Mohua/predator control: Rat captures in the Makarora and Dart Valleys are up on previous years, and rodents now appear to be a permanent feature of these permanent trap lines.


39 Dec-00


14


Otago

Giant skinks: The predator control pressure at MacCraes is finally starting to have an impact with cat and ferret totals caught this year being substantially lower than last year. Overall we have removed at least 138 cats, 161 ferrets, 26 rats, 13 stoats, and 17 weasels from about 700 ha of tussock grassland. This achievement has taken the efforts of 1.5 full time people.


40 Mar-01


9


Otago

Trap lines for stoats in the Makarora Valley continue to catch stoats. Recently numbers are dropping off, and the rate of rat captures is increasing slightly. This work is a joint operation with the Upper Clutha Branch of Forest and Bird, which has developed a sponsorship package. For $50 individuals can purchase a tunnel and trap for inclusion in the line. Stoat numbers in the Dart remain high, but rat numbers are decreasing.


45 Jun -02


15


Otago

Taiaroa Head: Bruce has also been looking at an AEE for more intensive rat and rabbit control at Taiaroa Head. This is part of a move by the Conservancy to implement a more comprehensive reserve management programme than has been the case in the past


54 Sep -04


14


Otago

although it was a good beech flowering year in the Dart, there has been very little seed. He is also getting some rats turning up in the Fenn trap lines even though they are not appearing in the tracking tunnels


38 Sep -00


13


Southland

Te Kakahu: no sign of stoats was detected. The trap line on the adjacent mainland (a distance of 1100 m away) was checked again but not cleared and approximately 80% of the 108 traps set was still available to catch stoats. Only 5 stoats and a few rats were in the traps. This trap line was last cleared during February 2000


47 Dec -02


8

Tongariro/ Taupo


A community group at Pukawa has recently started controlling possums and rats around Pukawa Township


46 Sep -02


11


Tuhua Island

Tuhua: Following the air drop of bait in 2000, there has been several follow up visits to look for rats and cats. The intention being to eradicate Norway rat and kiore by primary and for cats to all die from secondary poisoning. Sometimes with Scott Theobald and his dogs, or simply to run lines of snap traps and tracking tunnels for rats


37 Jun -00


13


Wellington

Chatham Island oystercatcher recovery..Management includes predator control.. The predator control regime focused on trapping which yielded 51 cats, 719 weka, 61 possums, 44 rats (despite not targeting rats), and 41 hedgehogs over 5 months


37 Jun -00


14


Wellington

The survival of all 6 hatched chicks through to fledging was thanks to the extremely determined effort put in by field staff to protect the breeding burrows from cats, possums, weka, and rats.


39 Dec-00


9


Wellington

Taiko: Thirty-five burrows... Early indications are that there are high rat numbers in the areas, so lots of work will be needed controlling them around breeding burrows.


42 Oct -01


12


West Coast

Landsborough Valley: The trapline consists of 93 timber tunnels with double set Mark IV Fenn traps, baited with a single hen egg. The line was checked monthly from November 2000 to April 2001, and again in July 2001. Over this period, a total of 91 stoats, three ship rats and one mouse were caught.


46 Sep -02


8


West Coast

Okarito Kiwi Zone: The results from the rodent lines in March show that there has been a huge increase in rat abundance between March (3.5% tracking index) and August (80% tracking index). This correlates with our casual observations from the stoat trapping program which have


indicated a much higher rat trapping rate than previously. We have also been noticing the capture of lactating female rat’s right throughout the winter months. It seems that rat numbers are higher within the sanctuary (80% tracking rate) as opposed to in the two areas in which do not have stoat trapping (38.6%) although this will not be confirmed until the November tracking session is completed.


46 Sep -02 12

Auckland Island

image

8. Cat Control Quotes

Auckland Island:..eradication..for pig looks like a combination of poison, shooting, leg hold traps, and lastly dogs. For cats a combination of the same methods (as for pig), but probably using the same toxin in a different bait.

Raoul and Macauley Islands..mid 1830’s Europeans attempted to settle on Raoul, and it was probably at some stage around then that cats were introduced..In July 2002 two Bell 205 (Iroquois) helicopters flew up to Raoul and were used to apply Pestoff 20R to the entire island. Twice. The objective was to eradicate both species of rat, and most (though hopefully all) of the cats through secondary poisoning. Since then, laying of

52 Mar -04 28 Raoul Island


46 Sep -02 2 Auckland

1080 bait and trapping may have resulted in the eradication of cats. The last cat to be trapped was in the middle of last year.

the number of pateke counted in the management area of Okiwi Basin has increased by 30% since last year. Management is continuing this year with the dedication of Craig Mabey who trapped 23 cats in 21 trap nights in July

45 Jun -02 7 Bay of Plenty Kiwi: Ohope Scenic Reserve. Forty seven stoats and 10 cats were trapped in the reserve.

45 Jun -02 7 Bay of Plenty NZ Dotterel: Matakana:.. reports trapping 50 cats, 21 stoats, 237 possums, 36 rats, 115 mice and 1 dog on the island.

white-flippered penguin: At Flea and Stony bays, two neighbouring farmers have trapped cats and ferrets in the penguin colonies on their properties for several years. In 2001 Akaroa DOC staff set up a trapline (containing 89 Fenn and Timms traps) protecting 1150 hectares on the ridges surrounding both colonies. The traps are open year round and have caught numerous cats, ferrets and stoats. The landowners still have

48 Apr -03 11 Canterbury Chatham

their traps inside the DOC trapline, but have commented that the catch rate of predators has dropped significantly.

taiko: The number of cats caught in and around the Tuku Nature Reserve this year is considerably less than for the last two years, possibly due

44 Apr-02 24

45 Jun-02 19

Islands Chatham Islands East

Coast/Hawke’s

to a combination of wet weather, and the high number of cats previously removed (over 160 in the last two years).

taiko: Two cats have been caught in cage traps near the breeding burrows since the chicks started to emerge, showing how crucial it is to maintain trapping pressure throughout the full breeding season.

43 Dec-01 9

53 Jun -04 8

Bay Weka are surviving within the enclosure, but considerable on-going effort is required to control cats and mustelids East

Coast/Hawke's

Bay Boundary Stream: intensive trapping restricts mustelids and cats to outside the reserve boundaries

Giant skinks: The predator control pressure at MacCraes is finally starting to have an impact with cat and ferret totals caught this year being substantially lower than last year. Overall we have removed at least 138 cats, 161 ferrets, 26 rats, 13 stoats, and 17 weasels from about 700 ha

39 Dec-00 14 Otago


49 Jun -03 21 Otago


46 Sep -02 11 Tuhua Island


50 Sep -03 16 Southland

of tussock grassland. This achievement has taken the efforts of 1.5 full time people.

Giant skink protection: Predator trapping at Macraes Flat continues. Cat numbers have increased as a result of increased rabbit numbers. In the first year of trapping (1999) 100 cats were caught. In April 2003 "Rooster" the trapper caught 114 cats

Tuhua: Following the air drop of bait in 2000, there has been several follow up visits to look for rats and cats. The intention being to eradicate Norway rat and kiore by primary and for cats to all die from secondary poisoning. Sometimes with Scott Theobald and his dogs, or simply to run lines of snap traps and tracking tunnels for rats, and fish baited leg hold traps for cats.

A cat research project is about to get underway on Rakiura (Stewart Island). The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust has underwritten a year of cat control and research looking into the impacts of cats on yellow-eyed penguins. This will involve monitoring nests in treatment and non- treatment areas, controlling cats at selected breeding locations, and attaching radio transmitters to 10 cats.



51 Dec -03 17 Southland

Rakiura (Stewart Island)..So far 11 cats have been caught and collared. The aim is to see how many are killed during the possum control operation. This year the possum contractors are again using 1080 in bait bags. Cats have the potential to be killed by secondary poisoning after eating possums or rats that have eaten the bait. Feral cats feed mainly on rats, but opportunistically feed on native birds. Studies so far have shown a small proportion of native birds in the cat’s diet. However, this may sadly be a reflection of the low number of native birds and high incidence of rats within these areas. Cats also eat lizards and invertebrates. This project ties in with a major study being initiated by the Yellow- eyed Penguin Trust to investigate the impact of cats on Rakiura’s yellow-eyed penguin population.. hoiho may slowly be disappearing from Rakiura. Cats are suspected of playing a role here, possibly killing chicks before they leave the nest. The Trust is also going to trap cats around some of the colonies, to see if this will increase penguin breeding success. If cats are a major killer of penguins, then the possum control operations using ground based 1080 may give these penguins a year of respite


54 Sep -04 15 Southland

The Southern New Zealand dotterel population has increased from 60 birds in 1993, to 200 in 2004 .. This population growth rate is a direct result of the continuing cat control


50 Sep -03 4 Waikato

pateke: Port Charles, Coromandel: This joint effort between DOC, Ducks Unlimited, the Brown Teal Conservation Trust and the local community includes large areas of cat and stoat control, and the release site is surrounded by the Moehau Kiwi Sanctuary predator control area..Four birds have been lost to predation: one likely to a dog, and the others to a cat(s).


55 Dec -04 4 Waikato

pateke: Port Charles: No cats have been caught for the last two months, and the cat control now covers the whole Port Charles catchment (nearly 3000 ha)


37 Jun -00 13 Wellington

Chatham Island oystercatcher recovery..In the managed territories 25 chicks fledged and reached independence from 16 pairs, and in the unmanaged territories no chicks fledged from 12 pairs..predation events..recorded on video in unmanaged territories – 2 clutches of eggs were predated by a cat..The predator control regime focused on trapping which yielded 51 cats, 719 weka, 61 possums, 44 rats (despite not targeting rats), and 41 hedgehogs over 5 months


37 Jun -00 14 Wellington

taiko: The survival of all 6 hatched chicks through to fledging was thanks to the extremely determined effort put in by field staff to protect the breeding burrows from cats, possums, weka, and rats. A total of 92 cats was trapped from around the taiko burrows this season.


39 Dec-00 9 Wellington

taiko: Cat trapping has been underway in the area since September, and 25 cats have been caught so far. Early indications are that there are high rat numbers in the areas, so lots of work will be needed controlling them around breeding burrows.

image


9. Possum Trapping Quotes


47 Dec -02


1

Tararu Valley Conservation Trust is a community conservation effort which aims to restore a small and long time neglected patch of rainforest. The 1100 acre catchment..contains a large stand of swamp maire (Syzygium maire), Hochstetter’s frog, and old forest remnants including large rata and kauri. Volunteers have been creating track lines and setting out possum traps since spring 2001 and in started using Fenn MK6 traps in February 2002.


45 Jun -02


7


Bay of Plenty

NZ Dotterel: With only 4 banded adults left on Matakana it has become very difficult and frustrating to identify individuals and to determine where the unbanded adults and juveniles go at the end of the breeding season. Witana Murray reports trapping 50 cats, 21 stoats, 237 possums, 36 rats, 115 mice and 1 dog on the island.


43 Dec-01


9


East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

kiwi: Whinray Ecological Trust has been busy applying to various trusts and other organisations for funding. Their immediate aim is to carry out possum control on private farmland surrounding the reserve to reduce the rate of re-invasion. Traps and bait stations have been purchased and it is hoped the trust can employ a trapper within the next two months. The Department removed 3,200 possums from the 430-hectare block during autumn 2001. The trust aims to work with DOC to keep possum numbers at a 2-3% Residual Trap Catch both within and outside the reserve


53 Jun -04


8

East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

Boundary Stream: Rat and possum numbers are maintained at zero, and intensive trapping restricts mustelids and cats to outside the reserve boundaries


36 Apr-00


12


Tongariro/ Taupo

Pittosporum turneri (FBI) monitoring was established at Kuratau clearing in November 1999. Many adult plants now occur at this site and the seed set from last year was especially prolific. Some possum damage was apparent, and increased control will be investigated next financial year. A visit was made to another population which occurs on the privately owned Lochinver Station in the Headwaters of the Ripia River. In contrast to the Kuratau site, plants found here were heavily possum browsed. Twenty-three large trees were banded in the hope that seed will be produced in a few years. The long-term aim is to establish a population within a nearby conservation area. Good adult foliage and fruiting has also been recorded in the managed Erua Sanctuary and Tongariro Forest sites this year. This is a credit to the hard work of a succession of possum hunters over the past 5 years.


44 Apr-02


9


Tongariro/ Taupo

Four months after an effective possum and rat knock-down by a 20,000-ha aerial 1080 operation over Tongariro Forest, stoats reappeared in the centre of the forest and began killing kiwi chicks. So far five of the 11 chicks have been predated, and all in the centre of the treatment area. Surviving kiwi chicks are being left in the wild in the hope that stoat density will not recover quickly enough to make their fate certain. Unfortunately only one of the 11 monitored chicks hatched early enough in the season to get the full benefit of the aerial knock-down. Its September hatch date has allowed it to reach well over 1000 grams now, so it is relatively safe from re-invading stoats. It is hoped that other unmonitored chicks from this same early (first clutch) cohort have also benefited as only 12 of an estimated 40 breeding pairs currently carry radio transmitters in the Sanctuary. However, all other monitored chicks hatched after November are still at risk. Rodent numbers remain surprisingly low, with the same tracking index recorded in February as in December (< 2.0%).


47 Dec -02


8

Tongariro/ Taupo

A community group at Pukawa has recently started controlling possums and rats around Pukawa Township, in addition to DOC possum control in the scenic reserves.


37 Jun -00


13


Wellington

Chatham Island oystercatcher recovery: The predator control regime focused on trapping which yielded 51 cats, 719 weka, 61 possums, 44 rats (despite not targeting rats), and 41 hedgehogs over 5 months


37 Jun -00


14


Wellington

Six taiko chicks have successfully fledged this season.. The survival of all 6 hatched chicks through to fledging was thanks to the extremely determined effort put in by field staff to protect the breeding burrows from cats, possums, weka, and rats



39 Dec-00


8


Wellington

Chatham Island oystercatcher:..Twenty-two cats, 166 weka, 13 possum, and various others (harriers, hedgehogs, etc), have been caught in the two managed areas.


42 Oct -01


10


Wellington

The Mount Bruce forest (1000 ha) restoration project is underway. Track cutting has commenced and predator control will begin once completed. Possums, rats, mustelids, cats, goats will all be targeted.

image


10. Mouse Control Quotes


46 Sep -02


13


Aorangi Island

A mouse was reported in a bait station from a Polytech student replenishing the stations for us. A full SOP response was launched with 64 bait stations, Elliot traps, Easiset mouse traps, lures, chew sticks etc. We were not able to follow the SOP to the letter in terms of frequency of visits as the weather did not play ball. After six weeks we have had nothing to confirm any rodents in the area. We have removed the Elliot traps as they were killing diving petrels, spotless crakes and lizards. We also removed the Easisets as they have killed lizards and giant weta.


52 Mar -04


27


Auckland Island

Auckland Island: It is not known when the mice were introduced, but may very well have been there since the pigs were released in 1807. Mice are the main component of cat diet, with birds and a bit of scavenging making up the remainder. The present plan is to attempt to eradicate both pigs and cats, but not mice. The decision to not attempt mice is based on our poor track record with mice, plus the sheer size of the island. At 51,000 ha it compromises the largest eradication attempt on an offshore island yet to be made in New Zealand, or anywhere else in the world.

36 Apr -00

10

Bay of Plenty

A further attempt to eradicate mice from [Mokoia) island is planned for late winter if the funds become available.


42 Oct -01


6


Bay of Plenty

A second application of Pestoff 20R (12mm diameter, 2-4 gram) Wanganui No. 7 cereal pellets containing 20ppm brodifacoum was dropped onto Mokoia Island (135.5 ha) by helicopter on 18 September. This will hopefully remove mice from the island. The first drop, undertaken in August reduced mouse numbers significantly, however we know from previous experience that they will increase again without control. It will be a challenge to remove them completely, as earlier attempts to remove them (Sept 1996) were unsuccessful.

45 Jun -02

7

Bay of Plenty

NZ Dotterel: Witana Murray reports trapping 50 cats, 21 stoats, 237 possums, 36 rats, 115 mice and 1 dog on the island.


53 Jun -04


14


Canterbury

Quail Island: The removal of predators including mustelids, cats, hedgehogs, possums, rats and mice from the island has provided an opportunity to restore a number of native invertebrate species that are thought to have occupied the island.


42 Oct -01


2


Northland

Kaitaia Area staff have been busy setting up a new project to protect the Te Paki flax snail (Placostylus ambagiosus) populations from rodent predation. Rodents at these sites were previously controlled with bromadiolone, but due to changes in the DOC pest control QCM process, the high level of recreational pig hunting in the area, and iwi concerns about poison use, we had to come up with an alternative method. This year we received Biodiversity funding for Placostylus protection, so we now have the resources to trap rodents at the priority Placostylus sites.

There will be four treatment sites to start with; two where rats and mice will be trapped, and two where we will trap only rats. If time and resources allow, the trapping will be extended to more sites.


45 Jun-02


3


Northland

Five colonies of the Te Paki pupuharakeke (flax snail) are being managed for rodents by a trapping operation. Each operation is over a 150m diameter circle containing 57 trapping tunnels with two rat traps per tunnel, and four mouse traps. Tunnels are 25m apart on a 50m grid.

Indexing is done every three months to check the impact on rodent numbers in the trapping site.


38 Sep -00


11


Otago

quarterly mouse tracking lines and beech seed fall in the Caples and Dart Valleys have been completed. Both indices are up with mouse tracking rates averaging 43% in the Caples Valley and 73% in the Dart.


39 Dec-00


14


Otago

At Cromwell an assessment of mice as a potential predator is ongoing but for the second half of October when the chafers were well and truly out there was only 1 mouse caught.


47 Dec -02


16


Otago

After the last mast event numbers of mohua in the Caples have decreased dramatically. Mice numbers have bottomed out but recent mice tracking has shown a 30% tracking rate in the Caples.

50 Sep -03

15

Otago

We continue to have elevated numbers of mice in tracking tunnels and traps in the Catlins mohua areas.


38 Sep -00


8


Wellington

Twenty little spotted kiwi were transferred from Kapiti Island to Karori Sanctuary.. all alive and well when released within 30 hours of capture. The Karori Sanctuary..was ringed with a predator-proof fence in 1999, and all mammals were removed during an intensive trapping campaign


and aerial application of Brodifacoum poison in 1999 (though mice have since reinvaded).


42 Oct 01


12


West Coast

The Landsborough Valley: stoat control line through the core mohua habitat in the valley during November 2000. The trapline consists of 93 timber tunnels with double set Mark IV Fenn traps, baited with a single hen egg. The line was checked monthly from November 2000 to April 2001, and again in July 2001. Over this period, a total of 91 stoats, three ship rats and one mouse were caught.


38 Sep -00


14

aerial 1080 possum poisoning operation..Whirinaki Forest Park:The mouse index declined in the non-treatment area (30 to 14%), but increased in the treatment area (23 to 30%).


46 Sep -02


12

Mice continue to demonstrate their tenacity, or maybe toxin tolerance, by persisiting on Mokoia Island in Lake Rotorua, and Limestone Island in Whangarei Harbour. In both instances, it is despite two or more very determined eradication attempts. They (mice) quickly reach such low levels as to be impossible to detect, only to be re-detected five or six months later in the odd tracking tunnel. Normal pattern then, is for the place to soon become overrun with the critters. It is possible that they were subsequent reintroductions with people visiting the Islands, and this possibility can not be completely ruled out. However the actual places on both islands where mouse sign has been found does not coincide with normal landing places


11. Weasel Trapping Quotes


47 Dec -02 1

Tararu Valley Conservation Trust is a community conservation effort..Volunteers have been creating track lines and setting out possum traps since spring 2001 and in started using Fenn MK6 traps in February 2002. As an alternative visual lure, we placed golf balls in some tunnels, and used hens' eggs in others. We employ both single and double trap tunnels. Many rats (30+), nine stoats, one ferret, and one weasel, have all been captured in the golf ball traps. Of course we know that mustelids may even be caught in empty tunnels, and the successful traps may hold the scent of previous catch..However we plan to increase both the number of traps and total area controlled and will maintain records of bait used and resulting pests caught.

54 Sep -04 1

For almost 50 years there has been daily predator trapping at Taiaroa Head, on the Otago Peninsula. The benefits of such a long term investment can be seen today, with over 10,000 seabirds now using this distinctive headland as a breeding site. Earlier this year a weasel was caught in a trap at Taiaroa Head, this is only the second one caught on the headland


39 Dec-00 14 Otago

Giant skinks: The predator control pressure at MacCraes is finally starting to have an impact with cat and ferret totals caught this year being substantially lower than last year. Overall we have removed at least 138 cats, 161 ferrets, 26 rats, 13 stoats, and 17 weasels from about 700 ha of tussock grassland. This achievement has taken the efforts of 1.5 full time people.


53 Jun -04 4 Waikato

Ten [kiwi] chicks have died this season; five from suspected mustelid (stoat or weasel) predation..This is a much higher death rate than in previous years, despite the predator trapping catching significantly fewer stoats and extending the trapping network. We have caught more weasels, however, and they may be responsible for some of the predation.


image


12. Ferret Trapping Quotes


47 Dec -02 1

Tararu Valley Conservation Trust is a community conservation effort..Volunteers have been creating track lines and setting out possum traps since spring 2001 and in started using Fenn MK6 traps in February 2002. As an alternative visual lure, we placed golf balls in some tunnels, and used hens' eggs in others. We employ both single and double trap tunnels. Many rats (30+), nine stoats, one ferret, and one weasel, have all been captured in the golf ball traps. Of course we know that mustelids may even be caught in empty tunnels, and the successful traps may hold the scent of previous catch..However we plan to increase both the number of traps and total area controlled and will maintain records of bait used and resulting pests caught

whiteflippered penguin: At Flea and Stony bays, two neighbouring farm properties for several years. In 2001 Akaroa DOC staff set up a trapline (c ridges surrounding both colonies. The traps are open year round and hav

48 Apr -03 11 Canterbury their traps inside the DOC trapline, but have commented that the catch r

37 Jun -00 10

East Coast/ Trapping for mustelids has been supplemented with a purpose designed Hawke's Bay and a Diphacinone Ferret paste.

poison egg/trap box, which delivers 1080 injected hen eggs for stoats

Giant skinks: The predator control pressure at MacCraes is finally startin substantially lower than last year. Overall we have removed at least 138

39 Dec-00 14 Otago tussock grassland. This achievement has taken the efforts of 1.5 full time

ers have trapped cats and ferrets in the penguin colonies on their ontaining 89 Fenn and Timms traps) protecting 1150 hectares on the e caught numerous cats, ferrets and stoats..The landowners still have ate of predators has dropped significantly.


g to have an impact with cat and ferret totals caught this year being

cats, 161 ferrets, 26 rats, 13 stoats, and 17 weasels from about 700 ha of people.


image


13. Hedgehog Trapping Quotes


48 Apr -03

whiteflippered penguin: At Flea and Stony bays, two neighbouring farmers have trapped cats and ferrets in the penguin colonies on their properties for several years. In 2001 Akaroa DOC staff set up a trapline (containing 89 Fenn and Timms traps) protecting 1150 hectares on the ridges surrounding both colonies. The traps are open year round and have caught numerous cats, ferrets and stoats. Surprisingly over 1000 hedgehogs have also been trapped, and they are still coming. The landowners still have their traps inside the DOC trapline, but have commented

11 Canterbury that the catch rate of predators has dropped significantly.

A collaborative project ..saw the translocation of two native invertebrat cats, hedgehogs, possums, rats and mice from the island has provided a

53 Jun -04 14 Canterbury thought to have occupied the island.

NZ dotterel: Opotiki Area: Predators..were stoats, hedgehogs, black bac East Coast/ chicks including 1 pair, which made 3 attempts..predators were remove

39 Dec-00 6 Hawke's Bay two mustelids, 42 hedgehogs, 11 rats and 148 black backed gulls were ki

East Coast/ New Zealand dotterel, Wherowhero Lagoon: two birds have fledged; an

43 Dec-01 10 Hawke's Bay has included predator trapping (for cats, hedgehogs and mustelids)

One of our most threatened giant snails is now thriving. Powelliphanta g monitoring. Following monitoring in May, the total population (restricte

Nelson/ individuals, an increase from 150-200 in the 1970s. This increase is due t

49 Jun -03 14 Marlborough begun two decades ago; several years of rodent control; and the constru

NZ dotterel monitoring Opotiki Area: Key predators were removed durin

41 Jun -01 5 Waikato mustelids, 41 hedgehogs, 15 rats and 15 black backed gulls were killed d

Chatham Island oystercatcher recovery.. The predator control regime fo (despite not targeting rats), and 41 hedgehogs over 5 months.. Sixty seve

37 Jun -00 13 Wellington including all fledglings from the managed territories in both years.

Chatham Island oystercatcher:..Twenty-two cats, 166 weka, 13 possum,

39 Dec-00 8 Wellington two managed areas.

es back to Quail Island..The removal of predators including mustelids,

n opportunity to restore a number of native invertebrate species that are


ked gulls, and spur winged plover. Five pairs were unable to rear any d during the season through trapping, shooting, and poisoning. Thirty- lled

other two were banded during late November..Protection for these birds


illiesi brunnea monitoring has shown a 2-3 fold increase on the 2001 d to <0.5 ha of coastal forest and scrub) is thought to be 1000-1200

o a combination of factors: habitat protection and improvement which ction of a rat and hedgehog proof fence in 2002

g the season through trapping, shooting, and poisoning. Thirty-two uring the season.

cused on trapping which yielded 51 cats, 719 weka, 61 possums, 44 rats n oystercatchers have been colour banded in the last 2 seasons,


and various others (harriers, hedgehogs, etc), have been caught in the


image


14. Pig Control Quotes

46 Sep -02 12 Auckland Island Auckland Island:..eradication..for pig looks like a combination of poison, shooting, leg hold traps, and lastly dogs.

Pigs were first put ashore at Erebus Cove on Auckland Island in 1807, an plan is to attempt to eradicate both pigs and cats, but not mice..At 51,0 island yet to be made in New Zealand, or anywhere else in the world. Th and July). The results of this should allow us to develop detailed costing trials for pigs, the intention being to present nontoxic 20 mm diameter synthetic) anchovy lure. In the first instance to make sure pigs will eat the population is exposed to the bait. Bait will be laid at several key places kept of how far away marked droppings are found, and toward the end lure up to 15 pigs into traps so that a radio transmitter (tx's) can be atta

52 Mar -04 27 Auckland Island telemetry work in an attempt to gain better information regarding their

50 Sep -03 8

East Coast/ Kiwi: Nesting has once again started on the Puketukutuku Peninsula..Unfortunately once again the spectre of pigs uprooting trapping tunnels Hawke's Bay has arisen, with one pig captured containing a large number of rats from our snap traps as well

d were well established by 1840..pigs..are widespread..The present 00 ha it compromises the largest eradication attempt on an offshore

e intention is to carry out some preliminary field work this winter (June s for the work. There are two parts to this field work. First is the bait Wanganui No 7 baits containing the biomarker Rhodamine B and (a

image

image

m, and secondly to allow an estimate of what proportion of the around the Port Ross area. During the following weeks a record will be of the trip a sample of pigs will be shot. Some of this bait will be used to ched to the ear. This will provide an opportunity to carry out some pattern of movements around the island


Vol., Date Page Conservancy 15. Deer Control Quotes

38 Sep -00 16

The annual harvest target (140) for deer control operations in the Murchison Mountains was achieved with 146 deer being removed in official control operations. Increased effort in monitoring and data collection since the 1996/1997 review of the programme has enabled the calculation of population estimates and harvest targets to achieve a desired level of control. The good results achieved in the 3 years since the review reflect the skill and hard work of the contractors/operators involved, as well as the improved planning and increased resources.


49 Jun -03 22 Southland

The deer control programme over the Murchisons has also gone well this year. An annual harvest target of 120 animals had been set based on a calculated/estimated maintenance harvest of 117. With the last operations for the year still underway, it appears that we will be removing more than 140 animals from the area this year


Vol., Date Page Conservancy 16. Fish Trapping Quotes

46 Sep -02 6


Nelson/ Marlborough

One of two known koi carp populations was eradicated in a Nelson ornamental pond through draining of the waterway. A lot of floundering around in mud and co-operation from the Nelson City Council and Fish and Game assistance allowed this project to reach a successful end. The remaining population will hopefully be dealt with along similar lines in spring. And then there are the 10 Gambusia populations to keep us busy.

52 Mar -04 17


Nelson/ Marlborough

The pest fish season is well under way but is being hampered by unseasonably wet and cold weather. One rotenone control operation to eradicate gambusia at an orchard dam has been completed. The operation to date appears to have been a success and after 4 days the rotenone levels had dropped to almost undetectable. Two other pest species (tench and rudd) found in the dam have also been killed by the rotenone. The netting-out of fish from two other sites is going well to date and by the end of February we will know whether or not this is a viable method for the eradication of gambusia from some sites


17. Trap By-Catch Quotes


46 Sep -02


13


Aorangi Island

After six weeks we have had nothing to confirm any rodents in the area. We have removed the Elliot traps as they were killing diving petrels, spotless crakes and lizards. We also removed the Easisets as they have killed lizards and giant weta.


54 Sep -04


6

East Coast/ Hawke’s Bay

a kiwi was found trapped in Mahia Peninsula Scenic Reserve..The captured kiwi, an adult female, was sent to Massey University Vet School for treatment but unfortunately died after surgery..., we renegotiated with the contractor to change to raised sets

52 Mar -04

5

Waikato

A kiwi that had lost its foot in a trap was handed over to Project Kiwi. The bird.. was taken to Auckland Zoo and operated on

55 Dec -04

4

Waikato

pateke: We've found two unmonitored ducklings dead; one from predation, the other caught in a Fenn trap.


52 Mar -04


12


Wanganui

A rehabilitated female kiwi was released into the area of stoat trapping in January. The kiwi originated from a site near Wanganui and lost two toes in a possum trap. Hard work by Wanganui Bird Rescue and Massey University over 5 months led to the bird recovering sufficiently to be released.


18. Plant Caging/Banding Quotes


37 Jun -00


4

Monitoring of Dactylanthus..At Te Kopia, even with low possum numbers following last winter’s 1080 operation any uncaged flowers were still destroyed.


41 Jun -01


6


Bay of Plenty

This year is an excellent fruiting season for Ileostylus micranthus at our Lake Ngahewa site where hosts were banded and planted several years ago in an attempt to maintain the ailing population.

41 Jun -01

7

Bay of Plenty

Dactylanthus: where most plants are caged, flowering was average with little sign of animal activity

43 Dec -01

4

Bay of Plenty

Mistletoes: host trees banded to ensure the long term survival of the populations.


49 Jun -03


6


Bay of Plenty

Dactylanthus: Monitoring of flowering and some further caging has been undertaken over the past few months at our monitored Dactylanthus sites.. Flowering appeared to be generally pretty good at our sites on Mamakus and at Te Kopia (Paeroa Range). A low level of rat damage was present and appeared to be quite localised at Te Kopia..Up to six new young Dactylanthus plants were noted inside cages at the Mamaku site.


50 Sep -03


5


Bay of Plenty

Pittosporum turneri. Many of the monitored trees which are banded are showing increased foliage cover, although none have shown signs of forming adult foliage after being banded for five years.


51 Dec -03


5


Bay of Plenty

Dactylanthus: The Minginui exclosure was checked and found to be in good condition and still functioning. Although still fairly low, we recorded the best seed set since the exclosure was built in 1999. The other monitored site in Whirinaki Forest Park also had increased seed set as a result of more caging.


53 Jun -04


5


Bay of Plenty

Dactylanthus: The northern site hadn’t been checked for several years and cage maintenance was needed. Flower monitoring showed less buds with more male and female flowers than in 2003, with low rates of possum and rat damage.


55 Dec -04


14


Canterbury

Orange-fronted kakariki: Two nests have so far been located; one in the Hawdon Valley and one in the Hurunui. Both these nests are protected with tin wraps and a ring of Fenn traps at their base.


50 Sep -03


8


East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

The cages consist of a couple of metres of chook netting wired into a circle and staked in place with a fence batten. A couple of number 8 wire pegs holding the netting down complete the setup. Approximately 50 planted kakabeak are now protected in this way, of which 80-90% are looking vibrant and healthy, with some in their second year almost over-topping their cages


50 Sep -03


8


East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

Caging of kowhai ngutukaka plants against deer browse really works. Five year old cages constructed by the Waikaremoana Conservation Corps on the Ngamoko ridge are overflowing with ngutukaka plants in great health. Flowering and seed set has occurred and these plants can now be used as seed source for further establishment of this beautiful plant


43 Dec-01


11


Nelson/ Marlborough

Monitoring of the transplanted Carmichaelia juncea on the Kahurangi coast showed devastation wreaked by introduced slugs. Wellgrown specimens, planted into salt turf and clifftops during winter are now stumps. Browse inside mesh cages showed slugs as the culprits. Previously similar damage was attributed to hares and possums.. Typical damage involves removing leaf and flower buds, chewing small shoots and stems


43 Dec-01


11

Nelson/ Marlborough

Pittosporum patulum: ..Possum control and Marley™ pipe protectors have allowed a return to health over the last three years for most of the 50 trees in the study area.


55 Dec -04


13


Nelson/ Marlborough

Pachycladon "Chalk Range": Cages fastened to the cliff face have survived the winter and are looking as good as new. Excitingly, there are a couple of new seedlings growing under them which have arrived there naturally. Attempts to seed the species into other nooks and crannies have so far proved unsuccessful


42 Oct -01


3


Northland

recently caged Dactylanthus plants at Puketi Forest had not only flowered well, but had also produced a significant display of fruit. 34% of the caged clumps had heavy fruit set

45 Jun -02

3

Northland

The Puketi forest Dactylanthus site was visited in early April when the majority of the caged plots appeared to have new bud development with


no evidence of disturbance. Old seed set was still observable. B development. Some of the flowers had been partly eaten, and

y early May, half the plants had flowers and buds at different stages of some buds had been totally eaten.


36 Apr-00 20 Otago


44 Apr-02

Montigena novae –zelandiae: Monitoring of caged and uncage

20 Otago by browsers.

d scree pea plants on the Hawkdun Range is showing little impact on the plants


48 Apr -03 4 Waikato


47 Dec -02 11 Wanganui

52 Mar -04

13 Wellington Dactylanthus: The Alfredton plants were caged and have flower

ed

d our carefully nurtured site and left only a few leafless stems. Fortunately the tting cage) and are now looking good.


erations on Mount Pirongia, especially the spin-off benefit for the rare plant spent the last week in January on Pirongia's summit monitoring dactylanthus

he 150 caged plants were in good health and flowering profusely, with no sign of


g well. This new find (three plants so far) may be because of the high level of 080 drop at Paengaroa, followed by ground control, the Tupeia has flourished to me host maire trees are looking decidedly sick


19. Aerial Poisoning Quotes

37 Jun -00 4

Monitoring of Dactylanthus..At Te Kopia, even with low possum numbers following last winter’s 1080 operation any uncaged flowers were still destroyed.

37 Jun -00 22

Between the Kermadecs to the north and Campbell in the deep south there are more than 800 islands in and around New Zealand. During the past 15 years we have been able to eradicate rodents from most of those islands (of any size) which are included in the DoC estate. The last four islands on the current list are by our standards very large. Mayor Island is scheduled for this year, with the last three - Raoul, Little Barrier, and Campbell - during the next 4 to 5 years. The recent increase in DoC funding has provided the funds to carry out all four projects. Obtaining consents and solving any technical issues that may arise are all that remains before they too become rodent free


38 Sep -00 14

This project[‘s] objectives include determining the costs..and benefits..of an aerial 1080 possum poisoning operation to kereru and kaka in Whirinaki Forest Park. This requires the radio-tagging and monitoring of kaka and kereru in a treatment area (Otupaka Ecological Area) and in a non-treatment area (Oriuwaka Ecological Area). The project began in October 1998. To date, 63 kereru have been captured and survived at least a fortnight after being radio-tagged. Of these, 28 (44.4%) have died, giving a mean life expectancy of just 0.9 years!.. Fifty-three kaka have been captured and survived at least a fortnight after being radio-tagged. Of these, 3 (5.7%) have died, giving a mean life expectancy of 20.5 years.. The carrot-1080 aerial possum poisoning operation occurred in May 2000. The prefeed baits were distributed at 5 kg/ha by the contractor, Epro Ltd of Taupo, on 1 May. The poison bait (10 kg/ha, 0.08% 1080, 2435 ha treatment area) was distributed on 17/18 May.

Monitoring of bait distribution (10 lines each of 1 km long, with the requirement that there be at least 1 bait in each 50 m segment) indicated a 99.5% coverage. None of 17 kaka (10 male, 7 female) in the treatment area, and 20 (9 male, 11 female) in the non-treatment area died during the fortnight following the poison drop. Similarly, none of 15 kereru in the treatment area died after the poison drop, but 1 of 11 (9.1%) died in the nontreatment area. Five dead birds were found in the treatment area: 3 tomtits, 1 chaffinch and 1 hedge sparrow. Muscle samples have been taken from each and will be tested for 1080 in due course. Possum monitoring in the treatment and non-treatment study areas (six lines of 20 traps in each) during February 2000 resulted in 31.4 and 32.9 captures/100 trap nights respectively. Monitoring was repeated in the treatment area following the poison operation (12-16 June 2000) resulting in 4.4 captures/100 trap nights, just below the objective of 5% RTC. Likewise, the impact of the poison operation on rodent and mustelid populations was monitored using tracking tunnels (10 lines of 10 tunnels in each study area), pre-operation monitoring in April 2000 and postoperation in June, 3 weeks after the drop. The tracking index for rats went from 56 to 76% in the non-treatment area, but 43 to 5% in the treatment area. All rat prints were in one line of tunnels near the boundary of the drop zone. The mouse index declined in the non-treatment area (30 to 14%), but increased in the treatment area (23 to 30%). The mustelid index declined from 2 to 0% in the nontreatment area, and 6 to 0% in the treatment area between the two monitoring sessions.


39 Dec-00 20

After 5 years in the planning, more than a year in the implementation ..Whenua Hou Nature Reserve (Codfish Island) [is] rat free..Non targets were the big issue with emphasis on the bats, fernbirds and kakapo. The kakapo were ‘relatively’ straightforward, if not easy – find another suitable holding island, set up a new infrastructure for the team and move the birds for the duration of the programme. This meant timing the eradication for a year when the birds were unlikely to breed so as to minimise disturbance. Indications were that 1999 was not going to be a breeding year so things were able to go ahead. Ironically the birds bred on their temporary home, with one of the most productive (egg wise) years ever!.. Trials showed that the fernbirds were at significant risk from the bait, although there is debate over whether it is primary or secondary poisoning, so to safeguard the subspecies it was decided to establish another population on a nearby island..The first attempt to the only available island at the time failed for reasons we’ll never know. This meant that we had to eradicate the rats from another island (146 ha Putauhinu) in order to make it suitable for fernbirds. This bait drop was carried out in conjunction with another nearby island (Rarotoka/Centre


Island) in 1997 and proved to be an excellent training run..The eradication on Putauhinu was successful, and 21 fernbird were transferred in November-December 1997.. Back on Whenua Hou it appears that sufficient birds have survived to re-populate the island with the first post drop breeding recorded in 1999.. we decided to hold up to 400 bats in captivity for the duration of the programme. A trial with 50 bats was carried out first with no loses. So before the bait was dropped 385 bats were caught and put into four purpose built aviaries (batteries). Under the watchful eye of a dedicated team they were feed a diet of mealworms that had been feed a nutrient supplement. This proved very acceptable to the bats, with most putting on weight and having to be put on a diet. They were all weighed and checked every 8 days, which was no small task. During the operation only 9 bats were lost up until the week of the final release in late September, when for some unknown reason 45 bats died during the check up, apparently from heat stress. Even with the mass mortality it was an amazing achievement to keep that number of bats in captivity for over 3 months. Overseas experts had indicated that we should expect a mortality rate of up to 50 percent as a matter of course..While it was planned to put on the bait at 8 kg/ha for the first drop, double ups around the cliffs meant that it went on at just over 9 kg/ha..Unfortunately the forecast was not as accurate as hoped and it started raining, albeit lightly, shortly after the drop. While not a major down pour it was sufficient to justify upping the second drop from the planned 4 kg/ha to 8 kg/ha. More bait was ordered and this arrived in time for the second drop on 27 August. Once again the double ups mean that the bait went on at an average of just over 9 kg/ha...

The kakapo feeding has now been underway for nearly 2 months with no rat sign. Lines of kakapo food have been set out around the island in an attempt to get selected birds onto the artificial food


40 Mar-01 11

Campbell Is: The plan is to fly the bait on at 3 kg/ha with a 50% overlap resulting in a nominal application rate of 5 kg/ha. Bait trials carried out 2 years ago on Campbell, and about 7 years ago on Kapiti, with an application rate of 5 kg/ ha suggested this will be ample to eradicate Norway rats. The cliffs and shoreline will receive two doses. The contingency for overlap at the interface between the area treated one day and commencement the next fine day is an overlap of several swath widths. The longer we have to wait for the next fine day the greater the overlap. We require about 80 tonne of bait to cover the whole island once, but will take 120 tonnes. It has been confirmed that cats have died out, which simplifies the project

40 Mar-01 11

Raoul Island: Rat eradication is in its preliminary planning state..we are reevaluating some of the close inshore islands, particularly in Fiordland, and main Auckland Island, which has pigs, mice and cats. We already have an operational plan for the pigs. The cats might take a bit longer.

46 Sep -02 12

Mice continue to demonstrate their tenacity, or maybe toxin tolerance, by persisiting on Mokoia Island in Lake Rotorua, and Limestone Island in Whangarei Harbour. In both instances, it is despite two or more very determined eradication attempts. They (mice) quickly reach such low levels as to be impossible to detect, only to be re-detected five or six months later in the odd tracking tunnel. Normal pattern then, is for the place to soon become overrun with the critters.

46 Sep -02 12

In the Inner Hauraki Gulf, an attempt is being made to eradicate rabbits from Motuihe Island (for the second time) using 1080 on diced carrot as the knockdown mechanism. Poisoning the Island followed two prefeeds, and the results were an impressive high 90's kill. Follow up will be with the usual arsenal of traps, gassing, guns, and dogs, not necessarily in that order

49 Jun -03 22

Campbell Island: We are delighted to report that we didn’t find anything to indicate that rats are still present.. Other factors besides the empty traps, sign searching and Jak having a good sniff around, indicated the absence of rats. These included the presence of wetas, a favourite rat food...Another positive sign was the presence of pipits, a species previously restricted to offshore islets and stacks.. In another few years the island should be swarming with them

53 Jun -04 20

While a lack of information on the pre-kiore eradication abundance of invertebrates on Whenua Hou prevents a direct comparison, Fred believes from the circumstantial evidence that there have been substantial increases in two of the larger species—the "large" land snail Rhytida



49 Jun -03 4 Auckland

image

australis (up to 15 mm in diameter) and the stag beetle

We've also been out re-surveying coastal cress (Lepidium oleraceum) sites in the northern Mokohinau Islands. All our records of cress are 10 years or older, so it was time to re-check them. Six individual plants were found on only one stack. Rat eradication some years ago has left the islands predator-free and now honeycombed with bird burrows

36 Apr -00 10 Bay of Plenty A further attempt to eradicate mice from [Mokoia) island is planned for late winter if the funds become available.

A second application of Pestoff 20R (12mm diameter, 2-4 gram) Wanganui No. 7 cereal pellets containing 20ppm brodifacoum was dropped onto Mokoia Island (135.5 ha) by helicopter on 18 September. This will hopefully remove mice from the island. The first drop, undertaken in August reduced mouse numbers significantly, however we know from previous experience that they will increase again without control. It will be a challenge to remove them completely, as earlier attempts to remove them (Sept 1996) were unsuccessful. As part of the project, 25 North Island weka were captured from the island and transferred to Equine Farms, near Rotorua as a safeguard against the loss of this population.

These birds will be returned to the island once the operation is completed, and post-operational monitoring of the weka population left on the

42 Oct 01 6 Bay of Plenty


55 Dec -04 7 Bay of Plenty


Big South

island is planned.

An aerial 1080 poison operation using carrots took place over a 440 ha area of the Pongakawa Ecological Area in October as part of a wider operation undertaken by Kaingaroa Timberlands in adjacent pine plantations to control possums. Jeff Hudson has been employed to monitor the adult kokako population; results so far indicate that no birds have been affected.

In March 1964 muttonbirders returning to Big South Cape reported that a ship rat plague was causing immense damage to property and wildlife on their island..by the time we reached Big South Cape (five months after the first reports) many land bird populations had already been almost totally destroyed.. The Big South Cape disaster also had a massive, enduring impact in shaping future conservation policy and practice both within New Zealand, and on islands around the world. Refined over the decades, predator mitigation, eradication and control has now reached a level where, with ongoing vigilance, it is practicable to: maintain the rat-free status of islands so as to restore ecological values and processes, and; even reinstate predator-sensitive species such as kaka, kokako and kiwi within non predator-fenced mainland habitats! NB:

53 Jun -04 1

52 Mar -04 29

55 Dec -04 12

Cape Island

Little Barrier Island Nelson/ Marlborough

Planning is currently underway to eradicate rats from Big South Cape Island

The tender documents have been sent out for this eradication attempt on Polynesian rats this winter. This project has been in the pipeline for several years, but was delayed for a variety of reasons. The way has now been cleared, but only after having to go as far as to the Environment Court. There are no particular problems envisaged with this project, but only time will tell. As with all aerial applications of bait, weather patterns will be the big unmanageable.

sustained possum control through aerial applications of 1080 is starting to have a very pronounced benefit for many Powelliphanta populations in Golden Bay

Lizard monitoring on the Chickens Islands was carried out in March. The traps used to monitor pre- and post-kiore eradication lizard abundance were lifted after 9 years and, will probably be continued on a 5-year cycle. The 9 years work showed that there was no significant change in total numbers on rocky beach sites. There were, however, significant increases in lizard captures in forest sites, and considerable differences in the response of different species. Species more frequently caught include ornate skinks, Duvaucel’s gecko and Suter’s skinks. All are crepuscular

42 Oct -01 2 Northland


42 Oct -01 2 Northland

or nocturnal species. The diurnal lizards did not change much.

a survey of tuatara on Lady Alice Island.. found 43% of the animals he caught were juveniles. These were born either immediately prior to the kiore eradication or since. This indicates a substantial improvement in the status of tuatara on the island.

44 Apr-02 3 Northland Following the spectacular results from Lady Alice Island (West Bay) last March (Rare Bits 42; where 43% of tuatara seen were juveniles


compared with less than 2% prior to removal of kiore), a survey of Coppermine and Whatupuke Islands was recently carried out. Coppermine Island had kiore removed in 1997. Our survey revealed 15% were juveniles, which is a very good result in just 4 years. On Whatupuke Island, where kiore were eradicated in 1993 (8½ years ago), the result was exactly the same as Lady Alice Island: 43%. In South Cove, on Lady Alice Island, the result was only around 3%, which suggests that results can vary greatly over a single island


36 Apr-00


19


Otago

The stoat trapping response in the Dart went off very well with just under 100 stoats caught. Stoat numbers were well down in the part of the Catlins that was trapped. It seems possible that a recent AHB 1080 possum drop has impacted on stoat numbers.


37 Jun -00


19


Otago

The fernbirds which were transfered to Putauhinu from Whenua Hou as part of the preparations for the eradication on Whenua Hou and as part of the post eradication restoration on Putauhinu have done very well and are rapidly building up numbers. While the bait drop on Whenua Hou certainly knocked the fernbirds they are now starting to show their heads above the manuka again and with breeding confirmed this season


37 Jun -00


19


Otago

Campbell Island: Lowland sites were recently surveyed for large bodied weevils.. There was no sign of ribbed weevil (common in the late 1940s). Hopefully populations remain on nearby islets or possibly at higher elevations. Only remains were found of Oclandius cinereus. It is likely it persists in low numbers on parts of Campbell Island and should respond well to planned Norway rat eradication.

46 Sep -02

9

Otago

Ongoing widespread possum control in the Catlins continues to assist the recovery of Tupeia antarctica mistletoe.


53 Jun -04


15


Otago

Another successful season has ended on Te Peka Karara; the island is extremely popular with day visitors during the summer. On some afternoons there were up to 16 boats pulled up on the island, with picnickers providing entertainment for the weka. Plans for further translocations have been deferred as the preferred site is subject to an extensive ongoing possum operation as part of the Animal Health Board’s Tb vector control programme.


53 Jun -04


15


Otago

Beech seed and rat and stoat numbers are all up in the Catlins..Coastal Otago staff are developing an operational plan for the Catlins to be able to implement control work when funds become available. The size of the operational area (12,600 ha) makes the planning phase of the operation just as difficult as any operational actions. Our focus is the protection of the large number of mohua found here (c. 2,000 birds). The key threat to plan for is stoat irruptions, but rats are also going to be part of the plan


55 Dec -04


16


Otago

It's all go at the Operation Ark site in the Catlins. We received money for stoat control but while in the process of preparing an operation plan, issues concerning rats arose; an observed doubling of rat abundance occurred between the start and end of October. Additional funds were secured for rat control leading to a big planning effort for a poisoning operation in two discrete areas with highest mohua densities. A team is now on the ground implementing that plan and getting baits out


52 Mar -04


28


Raoul Island

Raoul Island: The Polynesian rat (kiore) was probably liberated by early Polynesian voyagers several hundred years ago. It is thought that the Norway rat arrived in the early 1920’s..mid 1830’s Europeans attempted to settle..probably at some stage around then that cats were introduced. Goats were finally eradicated in the mid 1970's after several years of concentrated effort. In July 2002 two Bell 205 (Iroquois) helicopters flew up to Raoul and were used to apply Pestoff 20R to the entire island. Twice. The objective was to eradicate both species of rat, and most (though hopefully all) of the cats through secondary poisoning. Since then, laying of 1080 bait and trapping may have resulted in the eradication of cats.

39 Dec-00

15

Southland

The Campbell Island eradication preparation continues.


40 Mar-01


11


Southland

Tuhua (Mayor Island): In August last year, 2 applications of Talon 20 P were aerial broadcast to eradicate Norway and Pacific rats. It was anticipated that cats would die from secondary poisoning after eating dead or dying rats full of bait. A sample of cats were radio-tagged prior to the drop. Some indication of home range was determined from those cats, but the severe topography of Tuhua made telemetry difficult. Of


greater benefit was the ability to recover dead cats post drop, and 5 dead cats were found during the weeks following the drop. Autopsy by a veterinary pathologist determined 3 had all the clinical signs of anticoagulant poisoning. The other two showed none of those signs but did have a type of emphysema


42 Oct -01


17


Southland

After years of planning, the Campbell Island rat eradication finally got under way in full on the 26 June when the five helicopters left from Invercargill. Two ship loads of gear and personnel (19 in total) had already gone. The equipment included 120 tonnes of bait and 210 drums of chopper fuel as well as enough food and supplies for three months. After unloading the Jenka.. one of the choppers returned to the mainland, leaving three Jet Rangers to drop the bait and a Squirrel to ferry bait and personnel around. After four days setting up , the first bait was dropped on 2 July. From past weather records, it had been estimated that even if the team stayed on the island for three months, there was a significant chance that we still wouldn’t have had enough suitable weather to drop all the bait..Even the cliffs at up to 1000ft high did not deter the team, who simply did them with an onshore wind to help blow the bait onto the many ledges..The weather prevented the helicopters leaving until 27 July, and the last of the team and equipment came off on 22 August.


43 Dec-01


6


Tongariro/ Taupo

It has been documented from a number of aerial 1080 possum control operations that tomtits are one of the more vulnerable non-target species..monitoring compared two techniques – Distance Sampling and Territory Sampling..Initial indications from both monitoring methods (re-sighting of banded male tomtits and distance sampling indexes of populations) show little, if any, impact from the 1080 drop on the tomtits monitored at the study sites. We anticipate that statistical analysis of the results will confirm this.


44 Apr-02


9


Tongariro/ Taupo

Four months after an effective possum and rat knock-down by a 20,000-ha aerial 1080 operation over Tongariro Forest, stoats reappeared in the centre of the forest and began killing kiwi chicks. So far five of the 11 chicks have been predated, and all in the centre of the treatment area..Rodent numbers remain surprisingly low, with the same tracking index recorded in February as in December (< 2.0%).


46 Sep -02


11


Tuhua Island

Tuhua: Following the air drop of bait in 2000, there has been several follow up visits to look for rats and cats. The intention being to eradicate Norway rat and kiore by primary and for cats to all die from secondary poisoning.


45 Jun-02


5


Waikato

Kokako in the Mangatutu Ecological Area (one of the 14 Key Sites identified in the Kokako Recovery Plan) are to be monitored during an aerial 1080 carrot operation being undertaken by the Animal Health Board.. [3 people] have begun territory mapping kokako pairs at Mangatutu, which is the first stage of preparation for the 1080 application due later in the year.

46 Sep -02

3

Waikato

[3 people] have just finished monitoring 17 kokako pairs through an aerial 1080 carrot operation at Pureora. All 17 pairs survived the operation.


47 Dec -02


4


Waikato

The Pureora Field Centre is monitoring radio tagged kaka in the Waipapa Restoration Area to assess the effectiveness of pest control on a species sensitive to mustelid predation. Female kakas are followed to nests which are monitored. A sample of chicks have transmitters fitted to find out how many survived and where they disperse to...A dramatic increase in fledgling mortality has been noted coinciding with a change to the pest control regime. Seventeen female chicks were monitored since the breeding season and excluding missing birds, eleven of fourteen fledglings have died. Nine of these were probably (some certainly) killed by stoats. And just to show that the predators are not targeting birds wearing radio transmitters, one observation included finding the remains of two untagged kaka within the same den as a dead tagged bird. So the results of a productive nesting season for kaka in the Waipapa has very much been let down by poor fledgling survival. The pest control regime was an aerial 1080 pollard operation in October. While this did offer protection during the time birds were nesting, as pest numbers increased, the level of protection decreased toward the end of the season when fledgling kaka become vulnerable.


47 Dec -02


5


Waikato

adult kokako at Mapara. Last year was the first season of predator control at Mapara since 1996-97, and the success of last years poison operation combined with a good breeding season has meant that the population has risen from thirty pairs at the end of last season to forty pairs found during this census



48 Apr -03 4 Waikato

staff are pleased with the success of recent possum control operations on Mount Pirongia, especially the spin-off benefit for the rare plant Dactylanthus taylorii. A team of DOC staff and three volunteers spent the last week in January on Pirongia's summit monitoring dactylanthus plants that had previously been caged for protection. Most of the 150 caged plants were in good health and flowering profusely, with no sign of possum or rat browse. Especially pleasing was the rare sight of healthy unbrowsed inflorescences erupting from the leaf layer, which enabled the discovery of eight new plants.


49 Jun -03 5 Waikato

Last winter 17 kokako pairs were monitored during an aerial 1080 carrot bait operation at Mangatutu. All pairs survived the operation. The 2002 spring census of kokako at Mapara found a healthy 40 pairs, an increase of 10 pairs in the six months following the post-breeding census. This followed the first pulse of pest control in four years, an exciting result and a great example of the success of pulse management.

Meanwhile, the four-yearly survey of kokako at Waipapa this autumn has found 40 pairs, compared to the 16 pairs in 1999. Further testament to the benefit of pest control


50 Sep -03 4 Waikato

Nine young tuatara were released on to Stanley Island (Mercury Group) and eleven to Cuvier Island in May and June. These were the captive bred progeny of adults that were removed from the islands before the rat eradication in the early 1990s


48 Apr -03 8 Wanganui

Egmont National Park: Stoat numbers in the national park appear to have been low since a 1080 drop in August 2002, but with time more mustelids are turning up on trap lines


49 Jun -03 12 Wanganui

A new site for NIBK was found near Makino in the foothills of the western Ruahines. Kiwi call surveys at Ruahine Corner, subject to regular 1080 treatments, have produced a good number of calls


36 Apr-00 3 Wellington

In December white mistletoe..was found..at Ketetahi in Tongariro National Park during the establishment of forest health monitoring plots..Further.. hundreds were found in January on another monitoring line in the same forest, some plants even occurred within the 20 x 20 m forest plots. Most of the plants were heavily browsed. This species will now be used as an indicator of forest health for an upcoming possum control operation.



20. Delays in Pest Control Due to Poison Use

36 Apr -00 10 Bay of Plenty A further attempt to eradicate mice from [Mokoia) island is planned for late winter if the funds become available.

Sixteen of the 17 known populations of Gambusia (mosquito fish) have Nelson/ Gambusia are still present in low numbers however, they will be difficu

41 Jun -01 10 Marlborough hold owing to rising water levels and cold temperatures, which hinder t

Inland saline sites: the latest weed – Plantago coronopus - threatening and threatens to wipe out many of the special plants. Biodiversity fund

41 Jun -01 12 Otago herbicides, some of which we hope will prove effective control agents.

The five-year program to eradicate Argentine ant from Tiritiri Matangi I was covered with 1.8 gram baits every 2–3 metres, in grid fashion.. Tes them, however, just to be on the safe side, two takahe, which sometim these birds had taken full advantage of a couple of holes in the fence, t prevent pukeko from eating the bait all open areas such as mo wed pas hours a day so night baiting is an option. A range of invertebrates could invertebrates would be the species that suffer most through competiti the habitat these others would have mostly died out anyway.. The pois April has shown a 99.98% kill with only very small nests or groups of an

42 Oct -01 4 Northland next season, and hopefully achieve eradication.

Tongariro/ Evidence is mounting of an exceptionally good kill of possums

43 Dec-01 7 Taupo appear to have been controlled. The race between kiwi chicks

and rats trying to

An experiment is now underway to find a method of controlling the w Nelson/ edge is overwhelming the special communities there, which contain on

43 Dec-01 12 Marlborough tiny threatened plants.


44 Apr-02

(Sicyos australis): Both populations consisted of large individuals covering an area of 5´5 metres. Unfortunately the weed Mexican devil was

4 Auckland found growing nearto one of the sites; this will hopefully be targeted for control in the near future.

Nelson/ Three of the six known gambusia populations have yet to be tr

49 Jun -03 13 Marlborough and landowner expectations.

eated du

51 Dec -03 1 Auckland Attempts to carry out a rat eradication operation on Moturemu Island

Nelson/ The pest fish season is well under way but is being hampered by unseas

52 Mar -04 17 Marlborough eradicate gambusia at an orchard dam has been completed.

The tender documents have been sent out for this eradication attempt been in the pipeline for several years, but was delayed for a variety of r

Little Barrier far as to the Environment Court. There are no particular problems envis

52 Mar -04 29 Island applications of bait, weather patterns will be the big unmanageable. Fin

Beech seed and rat and stoat numbers are all up in the Catlins..Coastal

53 Jun -04 15 Otago able to implement control work when funds become available. The size

been eradicated in Tasman District using the fish poison rotenone...If lt to detect...Plans to eradicate the final population have been put on he use of rotenone.

these important ecosystems. It’s become very invasive at many sites ing is facilitating a multi-year research programme to test a range of


sland began .. The bait is laced with 0.01% Fipronil..The entire area ts carried out on the birds on Tiritiri indicated there was no risk to

es frequent the target zone, were removed to a pen. Eventually, after hey were confined on the correct side of the enclosure! In order to ture and roads were baited at night. Argentine ants forage for food 24 potentially be killed if they fed on the bait. However, these

on with Argentine ants so, if the ants had been allowed to take over

on was still killing ants two weeks later. Monitoring through March and ts remaining..The plan is to treat the infested parts of the island again


following the 20,000 ha September aerial 1080 operation. Stoats also grow to a safer weight and stoats re-invading the forest is now on. eedy sedge, Carex ovalis, in the ephemeral tarn at Sedgemere. The

e plant known only from that tarn (Craspedia “tarn”) and four other


e to a mixture of bad weather, difficulties meeting consent conditions


for kakabeak protection have been thwarted so far by continuous rain onably wet and cold weather. One rotenone control operation to


on Polynesian rats [on Little Barrier Island] this winter. This project has easons. The way has now been cleared, but only after having to go as aged with this project, but only time will tell. As with all aerial

gers crossed for a good spell of fine weather

Otago staff are developing an operational plan for the Catlins to be of the operational area (12,600 ha) makes the planning phase of the


operation just as difficult as any operational actions. Our focus is the protection of the large number of mohua found here (c. 2,000 birds). The key threat to plan for is stoat irruptions, but rats are also going to be part of the plan


21. Biodiversity Loss Under DoC Care Quotes (except whio, kiwi, kakapo)


39 Dec-00


20

Whenua Hou Nature Reserve (Codfish Island) [is] rat free.. we decided to hold up to 400 bats in captivity for the duration of the [rat poisoning] programme. A trial with 50 bats was carried out first with no loses. So before the bait was dropped 385 bats were caught and put into four purpose built aviaries (batteries). Under the watchful eye of a dedicated team they were feed a diet of mealworms that had been feed a nutrient supplement. This proved very acceptable to the bats, with most putting on weight and having to be put on a diet. They were all weighed and checked every 8 days, which was no small task. During the operation only 9 bats were lost up until the week of the final release in late September, when for some unknown reason 45 bats died during the check up, apparently from heat stress. Even with the mass mortality it was an amazing achievement to keep that number of bats in captivity for over 3 months. Overseas experts had indicated that we should expect a mortality rate of up to 50 percent as a matter of course


46 Sep -02


13


Aorangi Island

A mouse was reported.. A full SOP response was launched with 64 bait stations, Elliot traps, Easiset mouse traps, lures, chew sticks etc. We were not able to follow the SOP to the letter in terms of frequency of visits as the weather did not play ball. After six weeks we have had nothing to confirm any rodents in the area. We have removed the Elliot traps as they were killing diving petrels, spotless crakes and lizards. We also removed the Easisets as they have killed lizards and giant weta.


37 Jun -00


5


Auckland

The Hunua kokako: Only 2 of the 4 pairs attempted to breed and both nests were lost in incubation. Four Mapara females were transferred in last season, and although 1 had paired with a resident male she had been killed during winter by a stoat.


37 Jun -00


7


Auckland

A covenant within the Carter Holt Harvey managed forest at Woodhill was visited in May to inspect what was once our largest mainland population of Pimelea tomentosa. Unfortunately fallow deer browse was extensive, and only 4 plants were relocated.


41 Jun -01


3


Auckland

Our Lepidium flexicaule transfer to Rangitoto has been a little less than successful with 100 out of 150 plants still alive (66%) after 3 months, but only 5 out of 150 plants still alive (3.3%), after 10 months. Rangitoto is a harsh environment, and this translocation was always going to be a challenge.


43 Dec-01


4


Auckland

fairy tern nests..One of the female’s first clutches failed due to the single egg being buried in a sand storm, and the other female’s first clutch contained one infertile and one fertile egg. The fertile egg was taken to Auckland Zoo to be incubated, and a replacement egg from Waipu (that had been incubated at the Zoo and was ready to hatch) placed in the nest. It hatched successfully but the chick was killed during the sand storm. The second clutches have been more successful. The female whom the male favours, has just had her fertile egg taken to the Zoo and has been given two fertile eggs from Waipu that are about to hatch. The other female has abandoned her second clutch and the single fertile egg is at the Zoo being incubated.


45 Jun-02


4


Auckland

Recent monitoring of kakabeak (Clianthus puniceus) on Moturemu Island has revealed that only five of the original individuals planted in August 2001 have survived. Unfortunately the surviving plants were in poor health, being subject to some form of insect attack..analysis showed that plants had a significant amount of fungal growth..There were also at least three types of insect attack.. these attacks may be due to an underlying cause rather than being the cause of poor health. Stress from drying or root damage, increased shading from overgrowing trees, or some other sudden change, may alter the plant’s condition and make it more attractive as a food source. Alternatively, overcrowding of a pest species on some other neighbouring plants may result in a spillover effect. A planting project with more rigorous monitoring is planned.


49 Jun -03


3


Auckland

Vegetation and weed control to allow daylight and reduce competition from kakabeak seedlings on Moturemu has just been completed..transplanted kakabeak did not survive


49 Jun -03


4


Auckland

We've also been out re-surveying coastal cress (Lepidium oleraceum) sites in the northern Mokohinau Islands. All our records of cress are 10 years or older, so it was time to re-check them. Six individual plants were found on only one stack. Rat eradication some years ago has left the



49 Jun -03 4 Auckland


51 Dec -03 1 Auckland


51 Dec -03 1 Auckland


51 Dec -03 1 Auckland


52 Mar -04 5 Auckland


39 Dec -00 5 Bay of Plenty


39 Dec -00 5 Bay of Plenty


41 Jun -01 6 Bay of Plenty


41 Jun -01 6 Bay of Plenty


42 Oct 01 6 Bay of Plenty

image

islands predator-free and now honeycombed with bird burrows

coastal shore-cress (Lepidium flexicaule) on Rangitoto: first returned to the island in 1999. All these plants died, though some flowered, seeded, and seedlings grew. Three individuals from another transfer in 2002 are still alive and have flowered. Dense weed infestations seem to hamper establishment of the coastal shore-cress on the island. The translocation is now entering a re-assessment phase, during which the Conservancy will consider whether it is feasible to continue to try and establish a population of this cress on Rangitoto, or whether Auckland’s weedy flora will win out

Kakabeak from Moturemu Island (Kaipara Harbour) has been planted at several sites on Tiritiri Matangi Island. One aim is to test results of planting near petrel burrows: early observations indicate that those planted round burrows are struggling compared to the other sites.

Interference by petrels, penguins, and pukekos is proving frustrating! Attempts to carry out a rat eradication operation on Moturemu Island for kakabeak protection have been thwarted so far by continuous rain

The one and only naturally occurring sand spurge (Euphorbia glauca) known in the Auckland Area is perched precariously on a cliff on Browns Island. Eighty young Euphorbias grown by the Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens were planted in the general vicinity of the wild plant this winter. Four months later, only 11 of the 80 are still looking good. Most of the rest seem to have succumbed to snails, which defoliate the plant and eat at the stems

damaged by roading contractors: green mistletoe (Ileostylus micranthus) and pale flowered kumeraho (Pomaderris hamiltonii) have been destroyed. These incidents occurred despite previous contact with the council about the plants and the council agreeing to avoid damaging the plants. Our people once again got together with their people to try and stop this from happening again. Some of the remedies discussed included better marking of the sites, more regular contact, and maps that can be given to the people driving the machinery

Despite the hard work of the tern wardens, no fairy tern chicks were fledged in the Auckland Conservancy this summer. One promising development was a confirmed breeding attempt at Pakiri Beach, on the east coast near Leigh, the first in 38 years at this site. A pair laid one egg which, because of high predator numbers in the area, was transferred to another nest at Papakanui. Unfortunately, the chick disappeared soon after hatching. Predation by a black-backed gull is suspected. After the initial removal of their egg, the Pakiri pair readily accepted a new wax-filled dummy egg. This is a hopeful sign, as the old wooden dummies used to date are frequently rejected by the birds

Staff have recently checked on the survival of the Rorippa divaricata planted on Mokoia Island last year. Because most plants had died off during winter a spring check for seedlings was necessary. Unfortunately no seedlings were found despite most of the original plantings surviving and setting seed.

In August, further planting and monitoring of threatened/uncommon plant species as part of the restoration project on Whale Island continued. Monitoring of those species initially planted last year has revealed mixed survival rates

Rorippa divaricata In March, staff returned to Mokoia Island to monitor Rorippa divaricata plantings that were established in 1999. Only three surviving plants from 245 plants established were found, although the majority of these set seed before dying off last winter so we hope that further plants will re-establish.

Pterostylis micromega: ..no plants were located. The wetland habitat has changed greatly since the original discovery with much more water present and no grazing. While this management regime has greatly improved the functioning and quality of the wetland it may not have been so favourable for the orchid.

A second application of Pestoff 20R (12mm diameter, 2-4 gram) Wanganui No. 7 cereal pellets containing 20ppm brodifacoum was dropped onto Mokoia Island..As part of the project, 25 North Island weka were captured from the island and transferred to Equine Farms, near Rotorua


as a safeguard against the loss of this population. These birds w

ill be re

turned to the island once the operation is completed

Mistletoes: Further T. antarctica seeds have also been planted on Mok

43 Dec -01 4 Bay of Plenty years ago does not appear to have survived. Several hundred seeds we

..resurveying populations of Thelypteris confluens and Cyclosorus interr work was undertaken in late October several of the original population annual survey this year has revealed a large decline on last year’s recor Orchid): ..making a concerted effort to get some seed set on the few pl in Rotorua. The last few years have been a failure, with insects or othe occur..Rorippa divaricata: No new populations were found and several

43 Dec -01 5 Bay of Plenty secondary native shrub species and exotic grasses. Eight live plants in t

a few clumps of Cyclosorus and Thelypteris were noted in amongst a h

44 Apr -02 8 Bay of Plenty species have declined..since early 90’s, probably as a result of weed com

44 Apr -02 8 Bay of Plenty survey using volunteers ..for the elusive Pterostylis micromega record (1984) from the Lower Kaituna wetland. No plants were found


47 Dec -02

Lepidium oleraceum and Euphorbia glauca: Tuhua (Mayor Island), approximately 40 plants were established around south-east bay in winter 2000. Recent assessments indicate approximately 50% are surviving. Slugs, snails, and sparrows are browsing plants. Taumaihi Island, August 2000 planting of 27 Lepidium oleraceum was assessed in 2001 with no plants found. This site was rechecked in April 2002 with still no plants

6 Bay of Plenty found and only two Euphorbia glauca plants found.


47 Dec -02

Four live striped skinks were recovered from a dead miro tree on the Mount Te Aroha access road in late July. These were held in captivity by John Heaphy and later transferred to the National Wildlife Centre at Mt Bruce for research purposes on the advice of the Oligosoma Recovery Group. One dead striped skink was also recovered. This discovery is one of the few times over the last decade that live striped skink have been

7 Bay of Plenty found in native forest habitat.

North Island robin – Tuhua (Mayor Island): The opportunity was taken time since their release on Tuhua on 17 May 2003. ..Of the 42 released

51 Dec -03 6 Bay of Plenty males..one confirmed female..two partially identified birds..and two u

Another attempt at translocating Tupeia seed to Mokoia Island was ma plants haven’t established successfully to date. This latest attempt invo

52 Mar -04 6 Bay of Plenty small piece of shadecloth to reduce the chances of losing the seed. A t

Red-bearded orchid: The annual survey this year has shown a concerning

52 Mar -04 7 Bay of Plenty 1993. There are no obvious reasons for this

In September, several hundred more Tupeia seeds were planted along of establishing the species on the island. A quick check on the Ileostylu

55 Dec -04 6 Bay of Plenty branches, with a few seeds dry and most likely dead

Big South In March 1964..a ship rat plague was causing immense damage to prop

53 Jun -04 1 Cape Island after the first reports) many land bird populations had already been al


44 Apr-02

Leptinella filiformis: Until 1998 it was thought to be extinct.. 31

16 Canterbury been destroyed and a further four damaged by rabbits. The rab

plants . bits wer

. were planted out at Medbury Reserve.. monitored in October; six had e probably attracted to the plants by the newly disturbed ground when

oia Island during September and October as the initial planting several re cellotaped onto fivefinger trees

uptus..which have not been checked for several years. Although the

s could not be found ..Calochilus robertsonii (Redbearded Orchid): The d of 3,268 plants with only 1,042 plants found.. Caleana minor (Duck

ants of Caleana minor which still exist at its only known New Zealand site r browsers destroying all plants before flowering or seed set could existing populations had died out with the sites being invaded by

otal were found, a decrease from 12 known plants last year

eavy reed sweet grass infestation. It appears that numbers of both petition


to monitor North Island robin (taken from Mokoia Island) for the first

, a minimum total of 11 birds (26%) were located: six confirmed nidentified birds

de in December. Several past attempts in recent years using Tupeia lved translocating seed onto the fivefinger hosts and covering it with a otal of 483 seeds were translocated to the island.

decline to a total of 694 plants; the lowest number recorded since


the sunny northern side of Mokoia Island on fivefinger trees, in the hope s seed planted in July revealed that some seed had disappeared from the


erty and wildlife.. by the time we reached Big South Cape (five months most totally destroyed


they were planted. Hopefully the unusually damp summer on the plains has ensured this population will become established enough to withstand further attention from the rabbits.


45 Jun-02


12


Canterbury

The orange-fronted parakeet has recently been reclassified from a Category 2 specie to Category 1 – nationally critical. ..The results of the 2001/2002 parakeet breeding season were fairly positive. The monitored orange-fronted and yellow-crowned parakeet pairs attempted to raise two broods..the first nesting attempt produced both orange-fronted and yellow-crowned parakeet fledglings in March, the second attempt produced only yellow-crowned parakeet fledglings in May. The orange-fronted parakeet pair was successful in fledging seven chicks from their first nest but unfortunately the second nest was abandoned – it contained five late development stage eggs. The cause of the abandonment is not known and the pair did not appear to nest again. There were two individual orange-fronted parakeets monitored. These two either did not breed or kept the whole affair well hidden -which this species can easily manage much to the frustration of the monitoring team, as neither partners or nests were seen. Further observations in the valley have indicated that breeding has now finished and the parakeets are starting to flock for the winter period. [breeding most likely prevented by DoC disturbance]


49 Jun -03


17


Canterbury

Because OFP were regularly seen at several sites in the Hawdon Valley, nest searches were concentrated in this area for most of January..very few pairs were located repeatedly. One OFP nest was located when the Hurunui was visited in mid February to check on parakeet activity. The nest was climbed and monitored. All five eggs from the nest were removed and flown in an incubator via helicopter and plane to Invercargill and delivered to Te Anau Wildlife Park. After candling to determine the ages and conditions of the eggs, they were swapped with five red- crowned parakeet's eggs. Four of the eggs hatched and all the chicks fledged, in spite of both foster parent birds dying and the chicks requiring hand feeding four times a day for several weeks! The next step is to decide whether the chicks in Te Anau will get to breed in captivity or whether they will wait till they get to Te Kakahu (Chalky Island).. Lets hope more than one nest can be found next season


52 Mar -04


19


Canterbury

The orange-fronted parakeet (OFP) population crashed in the South Branch of the Hurunui during the rat plague of the 2000/01 summer. The species was in dire trouble and the Recovery Group had to re-think its priorities!

52 Mar -04

19

Canterbury

Above all, this work highlights the value of 'habitat' based survey as a cost effective method in dealing with multiple species


53 Jun -04


12


Canterbury

titi/sooty shearwater: a visit in December revealed 10 eggs using a burrow scope. A follow-up visit last week by local DOC staff and Kerry-Jayne showed a woeful story. There was no sign of any chicks alive, and four dead chicks were found inside the burrows. Their ripped out throats pointed to mustelid predation, confirmed by stoat scats and a small hole forced between the netting and fence posts. The only good news is that there is no sign that adults were taken, so they should return to breed next year. Priorities from here are to source funding for a professional predator-proof fence. The best efforts of the landowner have not been enough against the wily fence-cracking skills of stoats.


53 Jun -04


14


Canterbury

A collaborative project ..saw the translocation of two native invertebrates back to Quail Island. A summer student investigated the feasibility of translocating several ground beetles (Megadromus guerinii, Holcaspis intermittans, Holcaspis suteri), native slugs (Pseudaneitea maculata) and Banks Peninsula tree weta (Hemideina ricta) to the island. The results of her study indicated that the source population of ground beetles and native slugs would not be detrimentally affected by the removal of specimens for translocation. The translocation of Megadromus guerinii beetles and native slugs (Pseudaneitea maculata) was completed in April, 2004


55 Dec -04


14


Canterbury

The orange-fronted kakariki: a number of the captive juveniles died. These special parakeets are certainly not easy to raise in captivity! Following the last Rare Bits story and a couple of bird transfers to and from Te Anau and Christchurch, the first eggs were laid by Valentine and Arthur in Te Anau in late August. Unfortunately after four eggs were laid, Arthur mysteriously died and the eggs had to be artificially incubated at Burwood Bush. The "supermum" foster parent at Isaacs Wildlife Centre (Christchurch) fortunately came to the rescue again, and her eggs were swapped with the orange-fronted kakariki ones. But fate stepped in once more, and she abandoned the nest after three eggs hatched


38 Sep -00 6

39 Dec-00 7

46 Sep -02 3

47 Dec -02 10

49 Jun -03 10

51 Dec -03 8

52 Mar -04 10


East Coast/ Hawke's Bay


East Coast/ Hawke's Bay


East Coast/ Hawke's Bay East Coast/ Hawke's Bay East Coast/ Hawke's Bay


East Coast/ Hawke's Bay


East Coast/ Hawke's Bay

image

(one was infertile). The two remaining chicks are subsequently being hand-reared

in Tongariro Forest 21 Operation Nest Egg birds have now been released since 1997. Despite at least three deaths (ferret, pig & misadventure) and five transmitter failures, the remaining 13 birds are doing well and all remain within various parts of Tongariro Forest.

The 3 North Island (NI) brown kiwi released into Boundary Stream earlier in the year have had mixed fortunes. In late September the oldest (6 months) and largest (1300 gm) kiwi was found dead in the reserve. The cause of death is thought to be exposure because the bird was located in an exposed part of the reserve. There was no evidence of predation, and a severe southerly storm had hit the reserve at the time bringing extreme winds, freezing temperatures, and snow.

As yet genetic testing has not been done, however based on morphological differences, the Powelliphanta found in the Taraponui Covenant and Cashe’s Bush are likely to be a species or sub-species endemic to the Maungaharuru Range. In 2000, 25 lives snails and four empty shells were found in the 20x25 permanent plots. This year, 53 live snails were found. Three empty shells were found, only one of these had evidence of predation. A second population inhabits nearby Cashe’s Bush Scenic Reserve. Unfortunately this year’s survey has shown a 58% decrease in numbers, although only one of the empty shells found shown signs of predation

Urgent action was taken to save the kakabeak at Bartlett’s after a recent visit (the first in several years) discovered it was being badly browsed. The tree was sprayed with ‘Treepel’ to deter goats.

April saw the fifth anniversary of a 28 robin release into the mainland island. Twelve of these birds were female, of which only five went on to breed.

In April 2003, two Cook’s scurvy grass Lepidium oleraceum) seedlings were planted and hundreds of seeds were sown on Whanga-o-kena (East Island) near East Cape as part of the restoration plan for the island. We returned to Whanga-o-kena in October 2003 to check on the seedlings and seeds, and to plant a further 70 seedlings. Both seedlings were alive but we found no evidence that any seeds had germinated

Kowhai-ngutu-kaka: planting of this endangered shrub on road cuttings in the East Cape region.. a mob of goats had been gobbling their way through the plants and had even ring-barked the older specimens.. The lesson from this is that ‘extinction events’ can occur with disagreeable rapidity

44 Apr -02 24 Kapiti Island Twenty brown teal have been released on Kapiti over the past two years. Of these, six are known to have died..

Korapuki Island: Unfortunately, a large darkling beetle translocated from Middle Island does not seem to be doing at all well. None of the 50

44 Apr-02 23

Korapuki Island

translocated beetles were found, and it seems likely that they met their fate in the mouths of Duvaucel’s geckos, which are abundant on the island

At the end of the breeding season on Mokoia Island there were 20 birds (5 males, 5 females and 10 fleglings). A decision has been made by the Conservator in consultation with the Mokoia Island Trust, to remove all remaining hihi from Mokoia and transfer them to Kapiti Island. The decision will mean that there is one less island with hihi on it. The reasons for the removal are the lack of an increase in numbers (since released in September 1994), the amount of staff resources needed to sustain their intensive management and the financial input required in

45 Jun -02 17 Mokoia Island


47 Dec -02 19 Mokoia Island


47 Dec -02 19 Mokoia Island

managing them. The removal will take place this winter

Fifteen hihi (eight males and seven females) were transferred from Mokoia to Kapiti, Mt Bruce in mid August till November as a result of a management decision to shift them to Kapiti, Mt Bruce to improve their chances of survival. No birds now remain on Mokoia. The Kapiti birds are being monitored.

Recent monitoring of mistletoe seed (Tupeia) planting from last season and previous years has still failed to find any plants establishing on the fivefinger hosts. It also appears that Rorippa divaricata has not reestablished on the island following re-introduction of plants several years ago.


A February search for the red-throated eye-bright (Euphrasia unnamed) Nelson/ only 1 plant over an area where there were numerous individuals 5 year

36 Apr-00 16 Marlborough not apparent.

The Mt Stokes mohua population has dropped dramatically. At the end o are estimated at 27, of which only 6 are female. Predation by ship rats is during winter if the birds also roost in cavities. The department had succ risk could be taken to establish a second population on a predator-free i Nukuwaiata. Plans to move more were scrapped when it was realised th

Nelson/ were made over summer but few were successful. Cuckoo parasitism w

36 Apr-00 16 Marlborough protect the birds because rats had almost never been recorded at this al

In January 1999 we transferred 4 female kaka from Whenua Hou (Codfis Nelson/ of these nested last summer – only a year after her release. Unfortunat

37 Jun -00 2 Marlborough by rats.. Three of these birds left the RNRP area after their release but re

Survey work on Arapawa Island confirmed the presence of the protected Nelson/ and occasional Powelliphanta snails. However, in many areas these spec

37 Jun -00 15 Marlborough of forest floor, overturning large stones in the process.

A visit to the Matiri Plateau yielded only around 40 individuals of the ind confirming that this species is threatened.. Monitoring of 5 Scutellaria n locality. Celmisia macmahonii has been collected from the Sounds and i

Nelson/ Day burnt all 300 recently planted Muehlenbeckia astonii, but the plants

40 Mar-01 7 Marlborough some are showing signs of regrowth when watered by a couple of conce

Nelson/ A Cook’s scurvy grass census of the outer Pelorus Sound islands has conf

41 Jun -01 9 Marlborough year’s exceptional drought has killed most plants though..

Nelson/ During the drought, large numbers of Raoulia mats died on the Cloudy B

42 Oct -01 11 Marlborough recently discovered mat daisy jumper moth, Kiwaia, none could be foun

Nelson/

43 Dec-01 12 Marlborough only one whio was seen in the whole East Branch

We previously reported on work to measure changes in falcon numbers Nelson/ While there is evidence of decline since baseline research in the 1970’s,

43 Dec-01 12 Marlborough assign possible causes for any decline.


44 Apr-02

Takahe: Two chicks have survived to over 50 days on Maud Island, which is a good effort in a summer of massive rainfall. Eric, hung up by his Nelson/ leg in a sheep netting fence, would have died if Steve had not found him and administered some TLC. Fences were also responsible for Albert’s

15 Marlborough death previously, fuelling debate about whether to take sheep and fences off Maud Island altogether.


44 Apr-02

The last surviving female mohua from Mt Stokes, rescued in 1999 just before ship rats wiped out the rest, has finally bred on Nukuwaiata. The Nelson/ 27 mohua from the dart Valley also released Nukuwaiata in October 2001 have been hard to monitor. Their secretive habits and the difficult

15 Marlborough terrain have resulted in only nine individuals being positively identified from colour bands

, which appears to be confined to the Southern Arthur Range, revealed s ago. This gives cause for concern because the reasons for decline are


f the 1998-99 summer there were around 90 birds, but now numbers thought to be the cause of the sudden decline. This may have occurred essfully increased mohua numbers on Mt Stokes to a size where the sland. Four birds, including 1 female, were transferred late last year to ere had been a sizeable drop in the population. Seven nesting attempts as an added problem. Intensive trapping of stoats had been sufficient to titude on Mt Stokes.

h Island) to the RNRP area in an effort to increase our sample size. One ely, her eggs and a recently hatched nestling were preyed on, probably mained local. One subsequently died but the other 3 are alive and well.

, undescribed Megadromus beetle at several sites, as well as Wainuia

ies are being heavily hit by pigs which have severely rooted large areas


eterminate species Melicytus “Matiri”, many heavily browsed,

ovaezelandiae sites has unfortunately recorded a loss from the type

s now being propagated for population enhancement. ..Fire on Boxing are tenacious. Despite being in the ground for only a few months, rned individuals!

irmed that it is present on 6 of the 15 islands and islets visited. This


ay Foreshore, which meant that when staff came to survey for the d.


over 300 km2 in Marlborough. This work was repeated in November. the significance of this trend is questionable. It is even more difficult to



45 Jun-02


11

Nelson/ Marlborough

Monitoring of peppercress survival was monitored on two small islands, where it was introduced, in the Moutere Inlet. Its continued survival was surprising as recruitment has been very poor and weed competition severe.


45 Jun-02


12


Nelson/ Marlborough

A survey of the Rarangi foreshore Raoulia mats failed to find any of the Cloudy Bay mat daisy jumper, Kiwaia sp. cf. jeanae. This is the second year we have failed to detect any of these flightless moths which are known from this site only. Their habitat was severely affected by the big drought of 2000/2001 and we are unsure whether the species has survived.


48 Apr -03


8

Nelson/ Marlborough

Craspedia "Leatham" survey showed that the original population of plants has decreased from 67 to 36 rosettes over the last two years.. The large drop in plant numbers has prompted the setup of formal monitoring and careful weed control.


48 Apr -03


10


Nelson/ Marlborough

Mohua: The highlight was two chicks produced by the one surviving Mt Stokes pair who are now over four years old. Hopefully they will continue to breed for a few more years. Dart Valley sourced mohua on the island showed no sign of breeding, or mixing with the Mt Stokes birds. The low survival rate of these birds (five of the original 27) is a mystery, but may be related to the dryness of the island compared to the Dart Valley.


49 Jun -03


13


Nelson/ Marlborough

(Lepidium banksii), is stubbornly resisting all recovery attempts. Of the transplants at five sites, only one appears healthy - seeding prolifically for the entire season. A previously unrecognised threat was identified this year: root aphids, which annihilate nursery plants over hot summer months


53 Jun -04


12


Nelson/ Marlborough

Also in May, Hamilton’s frogs were transferred from Stephens Island to the Inner Chetwode. Native frogs have been successfully shifted on two other occasions in the Sounds and we are confident that taking 80 of the 300 animals from this small population will allow the species to increase on both islands


36 Apr-00


7


Northland

The 5 pairs [of fairy terns] that bred this season in Northland produced a total of 8 nests, including 3 infertile and 3 re-nests. Seven chicks hatched. At Waipu 1 chick disappeared after 3 days and 1 of a pair of chicks at Mangawhai disappeared after bad weather. Two transfers were carried out in an attempt to increase the number of eggs laid. A chick from a fertile egg, which was transferred to Waipu from Papakanui, disappeared after 2 days. One of 2 eggs, transferred from Papakanui to an infertile nest at Mangawhai, hatched and the chick fledged.


37 Jun -00


5


Northland

(Kokako) There were only 3 nesting attempts this season: [only] the third was successful. These chicks were translocated to Puketi, and were the only known kokako chicks to be produced in Northland this year. Unfortunately, predators killed both chicks within 2 months of their release.


38 Sep -00


4


Northland

Our mawhai Sicyos australis at Otuataua Stonefields is proving to be a little tricky to manage. After re-locating one plant, it was promptly eaten by wayward cows. Another then sprung up and was sprayed deliberately by an adjacent landowner. We are waiting and hoping another will appear. Seed collected off the plants were taken to the botanic gardens, but they did not germinate.


38 Sep -00


5


Northland

Mistletoe (Tupeia antarctica and Ileostylus micranthus) seed was planted on a range of host trees around the island but so far does not appear to have established. However the endangered native cress Rorippa divaricata has faired better with 50% of the original plantings having established and set seed, although half of these have died off over winter.


40 Mar-01


1


Northland

The annual brown teal trend counts in January and February were 104 and 92 respectively, a significant drop from 174 and 162 in 2000. A handful of birds are ‘hanging in’ at the southern Bay of Islands. Around Teal Bay and Mimiwhangata, the birds are just holding their own, while the population around Whananaki has taken another serious drop to just 6 birds.


41 Jun -01


1


Northland

Another attempt is being made to grow Asplenium pauperequitum from the Poor Knights Islands by spore. This critically endangered fern has previously proved too difficult to grow in cultivation

42 Oct -01

3

Northland

Asplenium pauperequitum: If the plant can be grown in cultivation through to the sporophyte stage, it will be a huge step forward for


safeguarding this critically endangered species, as all attempts to grow it so far have been unsuccessful.


42 Oct -01


3


Northland

Lepidium flexicaule transfer sites on Rangitoto Island .. five plants reported previously as having survived from the translocated population of 150, have died. However, seven seedlings were located, having germinated from the seed produced by the now deceased adult plants. Exotic annual plants seem to be out-competing this native cress there.


43 Dec-01


1


Northland

The latest field trip to the Placostylus ambagiosus subsp. Paraspiritus colony confirmed that there was a massive die-off there a couple of years back, and there are now fewer snails than when we started protection work in 1988. None of the other colonies have crashed. As the common garden snail also occurs here and also suffered a big die-off we are speculating that perhaps a disease event occurred. Norway rats invaded a small island (Snail Rock) off Purerua Peninsula about six months ago and seriously depleted the snails (P. hongii) there. Instead of well in excess of 100 snails, just 15 were found this time


45 Jun-02


3


Northland

Holloway's crystalwort (Atriplex hollowayi): is now so restricted and in such low numbers that stock, wild horses, and chance summer easterly storms are an extreme threat to its survival. Te Paki staff have had a summer -long struggle trying to erect horse-proof temporary fences..One hundred and fifty nursery-grown plants were planted out but few survived. Planting methods will be reviewed next year.


45 Jun-02


4


Northland

Thirty robust skinks and 41 Matapia Island geckos were transferred from Matapia Island to Motuopao Island in 1997. Monitoring was carried out in March 2002, nearly 5 years later. Three robust skinks were caught over 80 trap nights. Two were adults from the original release and the other is a juvenile born on the island. No Matapia Island geckos were seen from 2.5 hours spotlighting. This is not surprising as we have had very little success spotlighting for Pacific geckos on Lady Alice Island. We will now try using artificial 'gecko homes' (sunken pitfall traps filled with rocks).


48 Apr -03


2


Northland

The main threats to Atriplex hollowayi are high tides, and pigs ploughing through flotsam washed ashore. Overall they have been a lucky bunch of plants, with many being missed by horse hooves and pig feeding.


49 Jun -03


3


Northland

This year a small success can be claimed for the world’s rarest tree on the Three Kings Islands. Botanists visiting the islands to remeasure permanent plots established in 1946 discovered that two of the seeds planted last year from fruit harvested from the single remaining wild Pennantia baylisiana tree had germinated. Unfortunately one of the tiny seedlings had died, so was collected and confirmed as P. baylisiana at Auckland Herbarium. The other seedling was looking unhealthy, so was given some water in the hope that it would survive. Whilst this is not exactly ground breaking work, it is significant in that it shows that it may be possible to get the plant growing from seed on the island without having to resort to the risky step of bringing in plants and soil grown on the mainland.


50 Sep -03


3


Northland

Shore spurge (Euphorbia glauca), once widespread in the inner Hauraki Gulf, now remains only on Brown’s Island. We planted 80 new shore spurges on Brown’s this winter, all were grown from the seed of cuttings taken from the one remaining natural plant on the island..As our one plant failed to flower and produce seed, we removed cuttings from it in 1999. This was a tough decision as the plant only had a few stems. But the gamble paid off, as they flowered profusely and set seed while in cultivation at the Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens


52 Mar -04


3


Northland

Three Kings Islands in March 2002, 21 ripe fruit were discovered on the lone surviving wild tree of Pennantia baylisiana. This plant sets very little seed because it is essentially a female, so this event was seen as a great opportunity to harvest and plant the seed at selected marked sites. During a visit in March 2003, two seeds were found to have germinated at damp sites in the mouth of Tasman Valley, though one had died and the other was looking very dry and unhealthy. The tiny seedling was watered. Hopes that this might be the breakthrough that the plant needs on the island were renewed with the discovery that the seedling was still alive and starting to form two new leaves in December 2003, though the seedling was still tiny and very vulnerable. Staff caged the seedling with wire to protect it

36 Apr -00

19

Otago

Stu Thorne in Wanaka has been back into the Dingle valley checking Pittosporum patulum. To his dismay 3 of the 4 young trees at one site,


which had all been healthy last May, had been totally defoliated. Possums seem to be the most likely culprit, and a strategy for protecting the site is being considered.


43 Dec-01


16


Otago

The ongoing situation with mohua is supported in Otago, with nest numbers in the banded population at Lake Sylvan at only two thirds of last spring. Distributional work in the Catlins has revealed gaps in some areas, with the Catlins River Walk birds being right down in numbers.


43 Dec-01


16


Otago

Asaphodes stinaria: This is the first Southland record since 1944, despite intensive survey work. In the last three years, a few specimens from South-Westland, Queenstown, and Trotters Gorge (East Otago) have been found. The latter record included a male and female collected..


46 Sep -02


10


Otago

After years of planning and consultation it finally seems that the joint Ngai Tahu DOC co-management project to reintroduce buff weka into Otago is about to happen. Barring last minute hitches, by the time you read this we should be in the Chatham's catching the chosen few.


47 Dec -02


16


Otago

Buff weka: trapping of [30] birds on the Chathams [for translocation to Wanaka].. we had one die from systemic gout..Most of the birds have coped well..Four birds have however set their sights on further horizons by swimming off the island. One is definitely still in the locality, two others have yet to be tracked and one was killed on the road near Lake Hawea a walk of about 10 km in a straight line but a bit longer as the weka walks in two days.


47 Dec -02


17


Otago

At the end of last years breeding a number of adult yellow-eyed penguins were recovered dead along the coast. Additionally during the winter, numbers of YEP seemed to be lower than normal on beaches where counts have been made


49 Jun -03


20


Otago

Wanaka staff had a really interesting summer with the weka on Te Peka Karara in Lake Wanaka.. of the 30 birds bought over from the Chathams one died in the aviary after two weeks from systemic gout; nine have swum off the island; two were run over on the Hawea road; and one was killed by a falcon. This left us with 19 of the original birds. Seven pairs attempted to breed and three pairs fledged a total of five chicks. Nine other chicks were killed near the aviary by other weka. This leaves a total of 24 on the island at the beginning of winter. In addition there are still some seven birds running around on the adjacent land. The death of a bird from gout made us reassess the diet for the birds in the aviary. As a result, we removed all additional protein from the diet and replaced it with fruit.


51 Dec -03


16


Otago

monitoring of spring annual sites in Central Otago is painting a rather bleak picture, with the apparent loss of several sites which had previously supported good populations of Ceratocephala pungens and Myosurus minimus subsp. novae-zelandiae...Some losses have resulted directly from land development


52 Mar -04


23


Otago

Weka: A sick chick that we had in the quarantine aviary on Te Peka Karara has died. She was taken off the island to the vet in Wanaka on 21st

January, returned to the quarantine aviary on the 24th and looked like she was perking up, but then died on the 27th. The provisional diagnosis

for the dead chick (sent to Massey for autopsy) is that she was probably affected by bacterial peritonitis / air sacculitis, which is basically a huge bacterial infection in the abdominal cavity. The cause is unknown, but the symptoms may be exacerbated by stress. The other loss was a fledged female who recently had a transmitter attached. She got tangled in vegetation by her harness and perished. There was nothing obviously wrong with the harness settings, so it is likely that it was just very bad luck that she got caught.

53 Jun -04

15

Otago

blue penguins on the Otago Peninsula went through a period of mortality during the moult period


53 Jun -04


17


Otago

Final checks have been made for seedling establishment at several sites where grass beneath Olearia trees were sprayed in early spring. Unfortunately we appear to have been unsuccessful this year


55 Dec -04


17


Otago

Hunter Valley:. Black-billed gulls have declined dramatically from 581 in 1969 to just 12 in the last survey. This trend is also evident in the nearby Makarora catchment.


50 Sep -03


17


Southland

The 2002/03 season has seen a slight decline in the southern New Zealand dotterel population: from 205 birds in 2002, to 192 in 2003.. Very high rat numbers and corresponding high cat numbers probably contributed to the decline in the dotterel population this year



50 Sep -03 18 Southla

Euphorbia glauca [at Rakiura] ..this once stable population is in a state now manage only a few live and several dead ones. In some cases the p plants has increased, but overall there has been a 50% reduction in live

nd transfers to Fortrose (Southland) have failed.


52 Mar -04 25 Southla

The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust has been conducting an intensive monit Island. The news is not fantastic, with most nests having failed. In one s through to Long Harry), only two chicks remain alive. The decline appea

nd either all the chicks have fledged or died.

oring programme of yellow-eyed penguin breeding success on Stewart pot where three breeding areas are being monitored (Rollers Beach

rs to be due to a lack of food for chicks. Monitoring will continue until


52 Mar -04 26 Southla

Post-release monitoring of 18 tieke (saddleback) and 18 toutouwai (robins) introduced from Breaksea to Erin Island in Lake Te Anau is winding down for the season. Sabrina Taylor (University of Otago PhD student) has been closely following the tieke since their release in early September last year. It is believed that at least two pairs of tieke and 5–6 single birds have survived, although no breeding has taken place this season. Most of the toutouwai have been re-sighted, they are continuing to breed following an earlier introduction, and some have dispersed

nd to the surrounding Doubtful Islands

Tiritiri

48 Apr -03 16 Matang

Six nesting attempts were made by the three female kokako on the islan i Island hatching. Kahurangi's two nests failed.

Tiritiri

48 Apr -03 16 Matang

Three takahe chicks were produced. This year was the first time Tiri taka i Island chicks were produced, but only one of these survived.


Tongari

44 Apr-02 9 Taupo

two kaka nests have been detected in Rangataua Forest, both in early incubation. Staff will monitor them as they run the stoat/possum/rat

ro/ gauntlet over coming months. This work is to monitor kaka nesting success in an area without pest control, to provide a comparison with other managed areas


Tongari

49 Jun -03 8 Taupo

Hypericum aff. japonicum was discovered growing commonly at a temp the time, this wetland was very dry due to the drought conditions, and grown on for identification purposes, which unfortunately have not yet

ro/ minima (Nationally Critical), which is assumed to be extinct in Tongariro Decline), which has not previously been recorded here. Fingers crossed


Tongari

55 Dec -04 - 10 Taupo

In late August 2004, 40 saddleback were captured on Cuvier Island for translocation to Boundary Stream Mainland Island, an 800 ha intensively managed reserve in Hawke’s Bay. The birds were screened for disease on the island; unfortunately initial results were positive for salmonella. Due to the difficultly in testing and treating salmonella, which could take up to 30 days, the saddleback were transferred to Auckland Zoo. The retested samples returned positive for citrobacter, a common harmless bacteria which mimics salmonella. The saddleback were then driven to Boundary Stream. Two males died through complications in transit. One male and one female were too sick to be released and kept in captivity. The female recovered quickly and was released nine days later, while tests showed the male had campylobacter, tapeworms and aspergillosis.

He is currently being rehabilitated at the Massey Rescue Centre. The remaining 22 females and 14 males were released on 10th September. Ten

birds had tail-mounted transmitters attached and were monitored weekly. Two weeks after release, four transmittered saddleback were found dead following a week of extremely cold southerlies which brought snow to the higher parts of Boundary Stream. Necropsies of two birds

ro/ found they died of aspergillosis, a common fungal disease that can become fatal when the bird is under stress. One bird had a broken neck, but mammalian predation was ruled out. The fourth bird was too decomposed to necropsy, but no obvious signs of predation were found. A survey

of decline. Plants which in the past have had hundreds of live stems, lant has gone. Results indicate that the number of stems for some stems.. While the transfers to Whenua Hou are thriving, two sets of


d [Tiritiri Matangi]. Shazbot abandoned both nests despite chicks


he have managed to rear two chicks from one clutch! Another two


orary wetland, side by side with the common Hypericum japonicum. At most wetland plants were suffering. Several plants were collected to be flowered. However, one plant appears to be Centipedia minima subsp.

Taupo Conservancy. The other may be Isolepis basilaris (Serious for these discoveries



41 Jun -01 4 Waikato


44 Apr-02 6 Waikato


45 Jun-02 6 Waikato


  1. Sep -02 3 Waikato


  2. Dec -02 3 Waikato


47 Dec -02 4 Waikato


47 Dec -02 4 Waikato


47 Dec -02 4 Waikato


49 Jun -03 5 Waikato


49 Jun -03 6 Waikato

image

six weeks after release estimated 21 birds present, giving a 57% minimum survival rate.

It was not a good season for NZ dotterel on the Coromandel. At our main management site at Opoutere, only six chicks successfully fledged (usually 16- 20). The rest of the peninsula suffered similarly owing to a combination of successive easterly storms in November, and higher than usual egg predation. At Opoutere, only six chicks fledged from 133 eggs laid!

out in the bush, contractors and Maniapoto Area staff are conducting a post-breeding census of kokako at Mapara, primarily to find out rates of female mortality over the breeding season. Over the previous few seasons of no predator management, there has been a high rate of female loss (presumably due to stoats taking nesting females).

The Mahoenui Giant weta only have one significant population, which survives in a gorse-covered reserve in the King Country. Over the years the weta have been translocated to various sites in an effort to establish a second population..Weta were found at one of the four release sites visited

At the end of July, 49 Archey’s frogs were transferred from Whareorino Forest in the King Country to Canterbury University. Populations of this ‘Nationally Critical’ species have dramatically crashed in some areas with amphibian chytrid fungus being a likely cause. The frogs were transferred to Canterbury University to establish a captive population

Whareorino fieldwork also revealed seven dead Archey’s and one dead Hochstetter’s. All except one of these frogs were found over the 15 x 15 m grid where grid counts have been carried out since November 2001. The remaining dead frog was found approximately 1 km away on a track. On some of the frogs there is evidence of predation, holes in the ventral surface and body contents missing. The frogs will be examined for evidence of the identity of the predator

The Archey’s frogs taken down to Canterbury University to establish a captive population have continued to receive media attention. Of the forty-nine frogs taken down, three unfortunately died. The cause of death is not known

Planning is now in full swing for a second transfer of Archey’s frog, this time from representative sites from the Coromandel. Auckland Zoo is hoping a purpose built facility may be ready early next year to house the three Coromandel sub-populations separately

monitoring radio tagged kaka..to assess the effectiveness of pest control on a species sensitive to mustelid predation. Female kakas are followed to nests which are monitored. A sample of chicks have transmitters fitted to find out how many survived and where they disperse to...A dramatic increase in fledgling mortality has been noted coinciding with a change to the pest control regime. Seventeen female chicks were monitored since the breeding season and excluding missing birds, eleven of fourteen fledglings have died. Nine of these were probably (some certainly) killed by stoats. And just to show that the predators are not targeting birds wearing radio transmitters, one observation included finding the remains of two untagged kaka within the same den as a dead tagged bird. So the results of a productive nesting season for kaka in the Waipapa has very much been let down by poor fledgling survival. The pest control regime was an aerial 1080 pollard operation in October. While this did offer protection during the time birds were nesting, as pest numbers increased, the level of protection decreased toward the end of the season when fledgling kaka become vulnerable.

Lepidium oleraceum: Three-monthly monitoring of the Matariki Island population of nau continued last month. The population appears to have stabilised again after suffering a net loss detected on the previous visit. Both insect damage and white rust infection are present at low levels, and plants appear to be in good condition. Weeds are an ongoing problem and probably the greatest threat to this population

Maniapoto and Waikato Area offices are combining forces to survey the southern Waikato for the last remaining King Country kiwi. It is likely that any kiwi remaining will be captured and transferred temporarily to captivity until a suitable predator controlled Waikato site is ready for their release



51 Dec -03


3


Waikato

To date we have lost eight of the 38 birds from the pateke release at Port Charles. Autopsy has confirmed that four were killed by cat(s), one died from Aspergilosis, one was run over by a car, one was killed by a dog, and one was killed by a cat or stoat. The birds are now dispersing some distance from the release site and many have paired with other released birds, or with wild birds. A number of nesting attempts have been observed, and nesting is ongoing. The eggs from one nest which was abandoned by mum were taken into ‘captivity’ (a bantam hen) as a short-term measure. However, our hatch window calculations were slightly out, and one hatched. The other eggs either died before hatching or were not fertile. The duckling is now in the capable hands of the Otorohanga Zoo, where it will be raised for release back to Port Charles during the next release of 50 birds in April 2004


52 Mar -04


5


Waikato

We now have 14 dead pateke from the original 38 released at Port Charles, Coromandel Peninsula. It doesn’t sound that great, but this 65% survival rate (to date) is above our 50% target for the year. The breeding season is now over and we've seen a few nesting attempts. Only one of these attempts produced a fledged duckling, the rest were killed or "disappeared" before they were old enough for us to attach transmitters. We are currently redesigning our cat control regime, which should increase survival, especially after the next release of birds on 13 May this year


53 Jun -04


4


Waikato

A member of the public recently handed in a Mahoenui giant weta found washed up on a Coromandel beach adjacent to Mahurangi Island. This is the first evidence for almost 10 years that a giant weta population is still present on the island. In 1993, almost 300 Mahoenui giant weta were translocated from the King Country to Mahurangi Island. However, no weta were found on the island when it was searched in 1999 and it was assumed that the translocation had failed.


53 Jun -04


5


Waikato

Re-monitoring of 35 plots of dactylanthus seed planted in 2000 revealed that no plants have as yet established. Likewise with the mistletoe (Tupeia) seed planting from December 2003.


55 Dec -04


4


Waikato

The pateke released at Port Charles in May are doing very well. Since the release we have lost three birds to vehicle kills, one to starvation, and two to predation; leaving 37 of the 43 released alive and well. We've found two unmonitored ducklings dead; one from predation, the other caught in a Fenn trap.

36 Apr-00

13

Wanganui

(Celmisia aff gracilenta) Unfortunately Robyn couldn’t get any of the seed to germinate


36 Apr-00


13


Wanganui

(Sebaea ovata) Jim Campbell created some new habitat at Whitiau..Plants were transplanted to the three newly created scrapes. Then the place got flooded and most of the plants died.


36 Apr-00


13


Wanganui

New Zealand dotterels..out on a limb: The pair of dotterels nesting in South Taranaki produced eggs that subsequently disappeared and no chicks were observed.


37 Jun -00


10


Wanganui

Whio: Some of the captive-reared birds have been lost through starvation, not from a lack of food resource. We assume the birds starved because they did not know how to forage for aquatic invertebrates. Other birds have succumbed to predation from stoats or ferrets, and one of the wild caught birds was run over by a car (can you believe it!)


39 Dec-00


8


Wanganui

Stratford Area staff have now taken to earth-moving techniques to create more mudfish habitat! Unfortunately last year’s fry transfers were not successful, but we hypothesise that the size of fish transferred may be influential.


39 Dec-00


8


Wanganui

Euphorbia glauca ; the transplant site at Cape Egmont was blitzed by a storm early last year, and is battling to recover. Some plants have survived, but the good soaking by the sea killed most of the population that had been establishing well.


40 Mar-01


3


Wanganui

Blue duck in Egmont National Park: The planned transfer of further wildhatched and captive-raised birds has been postponed owing to poor productivity of both wild and captive populations this season. Survivors from last year’s release are still encountered, but the birds had transmitters removed because of weight loss problems so monitoring is much more labour intensive.



40 Mar-01 4 Wanganui


44 Apr-02 11 Wanganui


45 Jun -02 9 Wanganui


46 Sep -02 4 Wanganui


48 Apr -03 8 Wanganui


38 Sep -00 8 Wellington


  1. Dec-00 10 Wellington


  2. Mar-01 4 Wellington


40 Mar-01 6 Wellington


42 Oct -01 10 Wellington

image

Brachyglottis turnerii: Colin Ogle (retired) and I (Graeme) tried in vain to get to the Sugar Loaf Islands again to check weeds and Cooks scurvy grass. It’s obviously not meant to be.

Ranunculus recens The transplant sites haven't fared any better. Twenty-odd seedlings were found in one 5´5 cm patch where an adult had been the year before. There were also two seedlings just below this clump. But that's all that's left from the original plantings at four 50´50 cm sites. More of a worry is that we spotted Chilean rhubarb (Gunnera tinctoria) on the cliffs just below the original site.

Mt Taranaki: Whilst data are still being analysed, ‘walk-though’ surveys of North Island brown kiwi in Egmont National Park have produced worrying results. Areas known to hold several pairs of birds from previous surveys have revealed only the odd bird. Of key concern was the absence of any birds on the western side of the mountain where 10 km of track were walked with no birds recorded.

Whio: Results of this years translocation efforts to Mt. Taranaki are promising with seven of the ten birds released between January and March this year known to be alive. Two birds were killed by stoats. Captive-bred birds have largely remained on the release river whilst wild-bred birds have wandered widely around the mountain.

Following last year’s exciting discovery of four live striped skinks (Oligosoma striatum) at Te Aroha (BoP) last year, another specimen has been found in Taranaki..Unfortunately this animal was dead..Despite attempts with a number of trap designs, the elusiveness of this species has made survey work impossible. Work with captive animals is ongoing to trial new traps and baits

Staff have assessed threatened plants planted since 1993 at several protected areas..In Nikau Bush CA, Barkers koromiko (Hebe barkeri - planted in 1995), Chatham Island (CI) kakaha (Astelia chathamica) and rautini (Brachyglottis huntii, 1998)..Blackberry has proved too strong a competitor for some individuals. At Chudleigh CA, Barkers koromiko (1995), CI ribbonwood (Plagianthus chathamicus, 1995 & 1999), CI kakaha (1999), rautini (1998) and toetoe (Cortaderia turbaria, 1997 and 1999) have generally done very well. Stock caused some minor losses. At Wharekauri CA Chatham Island speargrass (Aciphylla traversii) has been introduced.. 1998 plantings were blitzed by pigs.. At Tangepu CA results range from excellent to poor. There were stock problems prior to the fence repair..Unsuccessful plantings include sowthistle (Embergeria grandifolia) and Cook’s scurvy grass. Chatham Island forget-me-not (Myosotidium hortensia) were destroyed by cattle and sheep, although some individuals have grown well and produced seedlings. CI kowhai (Sophora chathamica) planted in 1994 at Smiths Private Reserve has done well only on steep lagoon banks.

Many hundreds of cuttings from the other 3 single trees of O. gardnerii were taken in July 2000. Cuttings from only one of these trees (Te Kowhai station) have formed roots.

The single and only known Wairarapa Pimelea tomentosa could not be found during a site inspection in February and is believed to have died. Three seedlings from last year’s seed collection are being grown at Otari

It was only an average year for Chatham Island oystercatchers with 19 chicks fledging from managed areas and 4 from unmanaged areas. The settled weather over the Chathams during the breeding season meant that no nests were lost to storms, however, several chicks died during or soon after hatching, which may be a reflection of the very dry conditions. Predation by cats and weka, and stock trampling were the main causes of failure. Some good video footage was obtained, especially of 1 bird valiantly defending its nest against a small mob of very inquisitive sheep

Hihi: The installation of nest-cam and temperature probes will provide us with more information about hihi incubation and brooding. We will be attempting to hand-rear chicks from six days, and if further information is obtained, also from the egg. Due to some adult mortality over winter, and for genetic diversity, more birds are required for future seasons. Young chicks taken from Tiritiri Matangi nests will be transferred to Mount Bruce to be hand-reared. Handreared birds are easier to manage and provide better viewing opportunities for the public, as they are



42 Oct -01 10 Wellington


42 Oct -01 10 Wellington


44 Apr-02 13 Wellington


44 Apr-02 13 Wellington


44 Apr-02 13 Wellington


44 Apr-02 13 Wellington


44 Apr-02 14 Wellington


45 Jun-02 10 Wellington


50 Sep -03 10 Wellington


52 Mar -04 15 Wellington

image

less wary.

Seven pairs of NZ Shore Plover are held for breeding this season. Their offspring will continue to be released onto a predator-free (privately owned) island in the North Island. Thirteen juveniles from last season were released in May 2001 with at least nine still present in September. Six striped skinks (1 pair and 4 males) have recently arrived for research purposes. The research will involve trialing bait types and trap designs for use in the field. Striped skinks have rarely been seen in the wild and it is thought they are arboreal and current trapping methods are insufficient.

Euphorbia glauca (sourced from captive breeding populations Mana Island) have been planted on Matiu/Somes Island last winter. Forty individuals were planted and 10 were still surviving as of December 2001

National Wildlife Centre (Mount Bruce): After a very slow start to the season, 15 shore plover chicks were produced. Two clutches were removed for artificial rearing to boost production. These juveniles will soon be released onto Portland Island. The 10 pairs of Campbell Island teal have had an enforced break from breeding, while Hihi (stitchbird) have had a difficult season, with four adults succumbing to aspergillosis. However, three locally bred chicks survive, along with three “orphaned” chicks from Tiritiri Matangi that have been hand-reared. Surplus birds not required for breeding stock will be released onto Kapiti Island to boost numbers.

The resident kokako pair (a captive bred female and Taranaki male) made two unsuccessful nest attempts this season before the female died of age related conditions in December (at 15 years old). Five other kokako from Mangatutu were caught and brought to the NWC in August. These birds, plus our resident single male make up three pairs for the ‘breed on site and release into Mt Bruce forest’ programme. Not surprisingly, no offspring were produced from these pairs as they had new mates and captive life to get used to.

The wild kaka population at Mt Bruce continues to grow. As the one captive pairs’ genes were over-represented among the releasees, they were transferred to Wellington Zoo and a new pair brought in.. All juveniles will join the wild population once they are independent...Despite predator control over 75ha, two adults, two chicks and two fledglings have been lost; stoats look to be the main culprits.

Six striped skinks were transferred to the NWC in August to allow experiments to guide recovery actions - mainly bait preference and trap design. Only one female is held at NWC, and no breeding occurred this season.

A team from the KWST spent up to a week on Kapiti Island mist-netting passerines for transfer to the Sanctuary in Wellington in May. Thirty bellbirds, 36 North Island robins and 30 whiteheads were released at the sanctuary to boost the numbers transferred last year.

Kokako are once again flying free in the Mount Bruce Scenic Reserve, following the first-ever release of pairs to the mainland. Two pairs of kokako and a large male named “Whakatere,” after an ancestor of the donor iwi, Ngati Rereahu, were taken from Mangatutu ecological area in the Pureora Forest Park, a stronghold of the species, and released at the Mt Bruce Scenic Reserve. Rereahu iwi from Te Kuiti handed over the birds to Rangitaane O Wairarapa at a ceremony at Mt Bruce attended by over 100 people. This is a first step towards re-establishing a new North Island population in the wild. Kokako became extinct in the lower North Island some 60 years ago, with the last sighting reported by Mt Bruce takahe recovery pioneer Elwyn Welch in the mid-1940s. Once wide-spread throughout the North Island, the species has now vanished from the southern part of its former range with just 1200 birds remaining. Over the past 15 years, remnant populations of kokako have been managed and have recovered to become viable. DOC Biodiversity Ranger Tony Silbery said to restore kokako to its original geographic range, new populations have to be established in areas from which they have vanished. “Even where they are currently surviving, there are populations on the verge of extinction that need an infusion of new birds. We want to spread the population out more.”

A spring/summer census of Chatham Island shag and Pitt Island shag breeding colonies has revealed an alarming decline since the 1997 census: Chatham Island shags have dropped by 67%, while Pitt Island shags have dropped by 25%.



53 Jun -04 10 Wellington

The bird whose demise was reported last issue is now thought to have been the victim of a harrier..it is a blow to lose a bird from such a small population under any circumstances..Another kokako release, this time two pairs of Mangatutu-sourced birds held at Mount Bruce since 2001, is planned for late May.


43 Dec-01 16 Otago

Possum control is occurring in parts of the Karangarua and Copland Valleys; both of these valleys hold the southernmost populations on the mainland of western weka in the conservancy. As part of ongoing monitoring of the effects of 1080 on non-target species 15 adult weka were captured in the Copland Valley and had mortality transmitters fitted in December 1999. Pre 1080 weka monitoring has been carried out every month to date. Four dead birds have been found in recent months. The first 2 birds found near the Welcome Flat hut were too decomposed to establish their cause of death. Two more birds found last week showed the cause of death was predation. Both had puncture wounds on the back of their skulls. Stoats are presumed to be the likely predator.


53 Jun -04 5 Waikato

A recent check has been made on the status of several threatened plants re-introduced to the island in recent times. Re-monitoring of 35 plots of dactylanthus seed planted in 2000 revealed that no plants have as yet established. Likewise with the mistletoe (Tupeia) seed planting from December 2003.. Rorippa divaricata has not been seen on Mokoia for some years..no sign of Rorippa was found


37 Jun -00 16 West Coast

Possum control is occurring in parts of the Karangarua and Copland Valleys; both of these valleys hold the southernmost populations on the mainland of western weka in the conservancy. As part of ongoing monitoring of the effects of 1080 on non-target species 15 adult weka were captured in the Copland Valley and had mortality transmitters fitted in December 1999..Four dead birds have been found in recent months. The first 2 birds found near the Welcome Flat hut were too decomposed..Two more birds found last week showed the cause of death was predation.


39 Dec -00 11 West Coast

Kiwi: Although 1 bird has died from unknown causes the remaining 7 seem to be doing okay despite some weight loss. Only 1 egg, diagnosed as an early dead embryo or infertile, has been lost since the beginning of artificial incubation in mid August.


39 Dec -00 13 West Coast

Lepidium flexicaule: the viability of seed was tested by placing 238 seeds in petrie dishes back at the office. Germination has now tailed off, with 70% of seeds germinating. This confirms that seed viability is not a limiting factor in establishing new sites.


48 Apr -03 11 West Coast

The Haast tokoeka breeding season started with the first nest detected in July 2002, and ended when the last of the season’s 17 nests (from 26 potential breeding pairs) was abandoned and a broken egg retrieved on 14 January 2003. Seven (41%) nests produced chicks, which were caught and fitted with radio transmitters. Three of the chicks were subsequently killed by stoats, one drowned, one is missing (suspected transmitter failure) and two are still being monitored: Huia, 600 grams at 100 days old, and Mischief, 570 grams at 89 days old. To date this season’s chick survival is 29%, compared with 33% in 2001/02. Three times as many stoats were caught during December 2002 and January 2003 as the same months last year. In total, 222 stoats were caught in the sanctuary during the 2002/03 breeding season compared with 98 in 2001/02. Unlike the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary, this increase has not noticeably impacted on chick survival. Kahu, the one remaining monitored chick from the 2001/02 breeding season, was 468 days old at his last check ..He is still living within his parental territory, but spending more time in the sub-alpine scrub and beech forest at the bush line. We currently have transmitters on 48 Haast tokoeka: 44 adults (19 female and 25 male), 2 sub-adults (1 female and 1 male) and 2 juveniles (sex unknown). This equates to 24% percent of the estimated population (200 birds) within the sanctuary. A comprehensive survey is underway to get a more accurate estimate of the Haast tokoeka population within the sanctuary..Planning is also underway for trialling Operation Nest Egg (ONE) with Haast tokoeka in 2003/04. Our aim is to assess whether ONE techniques (used successfully with North Island brown kiwi and rowi) can be implemented with Haast tokoeka. This will provide us with systems and experience to draw upon if in-situ management is unsuccessful or threatened in any way, and alternative management options are necessary



50 Sep -03 14 West Coast

tawaki (Fiordland crested penguin):The mark-recapture technique is being utilised whereby individual birds are marked for identification, and subsequent marked and unmarked birds that are caught are recorded, enabling survivorship calculations to be made for the population. Flipper bands were initially used in the study (1994-2001) at both the Jackson Head and Monro Beach colonies. Indications for this work were that adult survivorship figures were far lower than expected (70% in 1998), suggesting that bands are either detrimental to survival, or that they are falling off. To test these theories, subcutaneous transponders were implanted into a control population of birds at Jackson Head (1998-present) to see if survivorship figures differed. Recent survivorship calculations (2003) using a sex-based model suggest that adult and chick survivorship is approximately 98% and 44% respectively. These figures are typical of survival in seabirds such as penguins and petrels. It appears that on average, birds with transponders have a higher survivorship, suggesting that perhaps both theories are true

38 Sep -00 15

shore plover: The reintroduction programme shifted site in mid 1998 following the wind up of large-scale releases on Motuora Island after further clear evidence of morepork predating and scaring released birds from this island. The new site, a privately owned island free of significant introduced predators and morepork, has subsequently seen three annual releases of shore plover since 1998. (The island is not being named to respect the owner’s wishes.) In contrast to Motuora, post-release survival and residency has been high at the new site.

38 Sep -00 16

Sebaea ovate: This last known New Zealand population is under severe pressure from encroaching weeds, trespassing stock, habitat degradation and possible mineral deficiencies.


39 Dec-00 20

Whenua Hou Nature Reserve (Codfish Island) [is] rat free.. Non targets were the big issue with emphasis on the bats, fernbirds and kakapo. The kakapo were ‘relatively’ straightforward, if not easy – find another suitable holding island, set up a new infrastructure for the team and move the birds for the duration of the programme. This meant timing the eradication for a year when the birds were unlikely to breed so as to minimise disturbance..Trials showed that the fernbirds were at significant risk from the bait, although there is debate over whether it is primary or secondary poisoning, so to safeguard the subspecies it was decided to establish another population on a nearby island. All the likely islands were owned by iwi, most of them being muttonbird islands.. The first attempt to the only available island at the time failed for reasons we’ll never know. This meant that we had to eradicate the rats from another island (146 ha Putauhinu) in order to make it suitable for fernbirds..The eradication on Putauhinu was successful, and 21 fernbird were transferred in November-December 1997 and have, after some initial concern from some people, thrived, rapidly spreading around the island. Back on Whenua Hou it appears that sufficient birds have survived to re- populate the island with the first post drop breeding recorded in 1999. The bats were another story, trials indicated that transferring to another island was not an option..Eventually we decided to hold up to 400 bats in captivity for the duration of the programme. A trial with 50 bats was carried out first with no loses. So before the bait was dropped 385 bats were caught and put into four purpose built aviaries (batteries). Under the watchful eye of a dedicated team they were feed a diet of mealworms that had been feed a nutrient supplement. This proved very acceptable to the bats, with most putting on weight and having to be put on a diet. They were all weighed and checked every 8 days, which was no small task. During the operation only 9 bats were lost up until the week of the final release in late September, when for some unknown reason 45 bats died during the check up, apparently from heat stress. Even with the mass mortality it was an amazing achievement to keep that number of bats in captivity for over 3 months. Overseas experts had indicated that we should expect a mortality rate of up to 50 percent as a matter of course.. now everybody must play their part in ensuring that rats and other predators do not make it on to the island or any other island where they can upset the natural balance.

43 Dec-01 18

staff combined forces, and were assisted by Ngai Tahu and volunteers, in mid October to catch 27 mohua from the Rock Burn area of the Dart River..the 27 birds were all caught that day..An overnight trip was made to Nukuwaiata on November 7th to check up on the transferred populations. In two days of concerted searching using recordings from Mt Stokes and the Dart, only three Mt Stokes birds could be located, all


adults from the original transfer. No Dart birds could be attracted by the taped calls, and equally disappointing, no sign of breeding by the Mt Stokes birds was detected. Since then, ten of the Dart birds have been seen: a group of eight, and another of two. They were both seen near the central ridge and quickly flew off to the Western Cliffs, which may be where they are all hiding


47 Dec -02 12

International Ornithological Congress: I almost got sick of hearing the letters “DNA”. Nevertheless, nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analyses are clearly transforming understanding of phylogeny, mating systems, population structure, dynamics and evolution, and resource use. I left bemused that DOC seems to be one of the few major conservation agencies worldwide not to have significant inhouse capability in this ubiquitously applicable field of science. Concern for genetic diversity: Many papers reported on the nature and extent of genetic diversity within and between existing taxa. A focus on describing and preserving biological diversity at the genetic level was apparent, just as we chart our conservation management towards higher and less diverse realms. Many countries are establishing tissue banks to facilitate analyses of genetic diversity. Conservation management as experiments: Many papers.. reported conservation management actions within a distinctly experimental framework and with clearly made predictions or hypotheses. What I found so appealing was the way this approach allowed the managers to conduct their work in a way that allowed them to draw unambiguous conclusions, they had removed potential ambiguity at the design stage.

48 Apr -03 3

The fairy terns haven’t had such a good breeding season this year, with only two chicks fledging. They had a run of misfortunes during the summer : the first few nests were lost to high tides and predation; one of the first-time breeding pairs abandoned the nest; then one of the older breeding females at Waipu disappeared after their first chick hatched, and then the male disappeared also; finally, a storm in early January wiped out three of the four remaining nests.. a newly-hatched chick was accepted and reared by foster parents, though it disappeared in a storm a week later.

49 Jun -03 1

In October 2002 the World Conservation Union upgraded the conservation status of whio from Vulnerable to Endangered, while the Department of Conservation ranks whio as Nationally Endangered. The Blue Duck Recovery Group predicts that if the present rate of decline in whio populations is not addressed, the species will be functionally extinct from much of its present range within the next 10 years..In terms of what should be done at each site to protect whio, we are in the all-to-familiar situation of not knowing the answer, but unfortunately not having the luxury of time to wait before starting work.


22. Translocations (except kiwi, whio and kakapo)

48 Apr -03 3

fairy terns: The chicks have now fledged and left their natal site with their parents [eg of family staying together]

37 Jun -00 3

Auckland tree weta have recently been released on Limestone Island; a 40-ha scenic reserve in the upper Whangarei Harbour


37 Jun -00 3

The Middle Island tusked weta (MITW), previously only found on Middle Island (Mercury Island Group), now has two new homes. Over a 2-week period, 150 4th instar MITW were released onto Red Mercury and Double Islands


38 Sep -00 15

shore plover: The reintroduction programme shifted site in mid 1998 following the wind up of large-scale releases on Motuora Island after further clear evidence of morepork predating and scaring released birds from this island. The new site, a privately owned island free of significant introduced predators and morepork, has subsequently seen three annual releases of shore plover since 1998.


39 Dec-00 1

teal were bought back to New Zealand [from Dent Island].. Unfortunately..all the current birds originate from one female. The option of a direct transfer from Dent to Campbell.. was rejected, because the most recent survey (1997) of the island indicated that the population may well be below the 30 bird minimum previously believed to be present, and hence sufficient birds are not available..Twelve birds (8 female and 4 male) were released in March 1999..monitored using backpack transmitters, and all have survived, although we have lost track of a couple that decided to go walk-about around the island’s rugged southwestern coast. Last summer 5 nests were made with 14 eggs laid, 9 of which hatched but unfortunately only 2 ducklings fledged, both from the same clutch. This low survival may have resulted from a dry summer reducing the potential duckling feeding areas, or from the sex imbalance, because as soon as a female went down on the nest she became a ‘solo mum’ as her mate moved off to find another female. This is not normal for sub-Antarctic teal where the male usually guards the territory. In May this year ..12 teal were released,.. 8 males and 4 females ..All the birds have settled in, although 2 males that went walk-about soon after release have proved elusive to track down. This founder stock, when combined with birds direct from captivity, will hopefully provide sufficient birds for the release on Campbell, which is planned for 2003.The bait drop is planned to take place in the winter of 2001. If it is successful the main island will see the return of not only teal but also snipe, pipit, and a range of small seabirds that have long been restricted to the small outlying islands. As well, the natural balance of invertebrates and plants, which the rats have dramatically altered, will be restored.