When researchers tested a dual baiting regime on ship rats back in 2016-2017, they also made some interesting observations about possum behaviour in their study area. Could dual baiting be adapted to overcome the bait-shy behaviour of possum survivors too? Possums that survive an aerial 1080 … [Read more...] about Dual 1080 bait switch solves bait-shy possum issues
How far might young rats disperse if they find themselves in a place with few other rat competitors? It’s an important question, with implications for deciding what surveillance is needed to detect invasions in predator-free islands, sanctuaries and ultimately, large predator-free mainland … [Read more...] about Rats on the move – how far do they disperse?
Yellow-eyed penguins (YEPs) are endemic and endangered and the Otago population is declining with poor breeding seasons and high adult mortality. But YEPs live in the sub-Antarctic too. Somewhere between 37% and 49% of the total YEP breeding population are thought to breed in the Auckland Islands … [Read more...] about Checking up on the other yellow-eyed penguins
How old can an old bird get? It depends on the species of course and the risks of predation and starvation and all the other hazards of a life lived wild. But assuming a bird lives to its ‘full term’ potential, what is ‘old’ in bird lifespans? K-7446 was identified and photographed in 2019 by … [Read more...] about Oystercatcher on Mokau Estuary reaches venerable old age
Sanctuary fences keep predators out – but they’ve also become a popular ‘highway’ for ship rats travelling around the sanctuary exterior. Rats have discovered that the rolled steel hood (designed to stop mammals climbing over the fence), also makes a great way to get around, safely out of reach of … [Read more...] about What’s happening up in the hood?
Cautious rats – bait shy and trap shy – are a problem worldwide and researchers at the University of Liverpool, UK have been looking at other ways to attract rats into bait or trap boxes. So far the research has only been carried out on lab rats and still needs to be tested in the field. But the … [Read more...] about Liverpool researchers study rat audio lures
Birds are hard to see and sometimes shy of humans, so call counts are the way that population sizes are usually estimated. Automatic acoustic recorders have made recording bird calls easier – but recorders generate a lot of data – a LOT of data! It can end up being just too time-consuming to analyse … [Read more...] about AviaNZ open-source software helps analyse bird calls
The conservation decisions we make today will have an impact for millions of years! That’s the conclusion of authors Luis Valente, Rampal Etienne and Juan Garcia, who use New Zealand’s unique bird species as an example of the macroevolutionary impact of humans, in an article recently published in … [Read more...] about Human impact on NZ birds measured in millions of years
Did you know there were once horses on the Auckland Islands? Possums were deliberately introduced too but didn’t last long. Hardly surprising. It’s a harsh environment and not remotely like their warm Australian homeland. Scientists investigating mammal predators in the Auckland Islands group … [Read more...] about Auckland Islands introductions included horses, possums, chickens
The Ashburton/Hakatere River mouth in Mid Canterbury is a nesting site for large colonies of black-billed gulls and white-fronted terns and proved an ideal study site for testing the bird census capabilities of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) compared to more traditional bird count methods. When … [Read more...] about Drone technology offers low impact method for seabird census