As kaka become a more familiar part of everyday suburban lives in some parts of New Zealand, the city-living parrots are also attracting the attention of researchers interested in the parrot/urban mix. How well are urban kaka learning to adapt to city life and what might be some city threats that … [Read more...] about Urban kaka – how are they adapting to city life?
Kakariki, our native parakeets mostly nest in holes in trees, where the female incubates the eggs for around 3-4 weeks. That makes female kakariki, as well as the young, particularly vulnerable to predators and could potentially lead to a male bias in the adult population. Red-crowned kakariki … [Read more...] about Predators vs Parakeets
Before humans arrived, 78% of Aotearoa was covered in native podocarp forest. In the 700 years since we got here, 60% of that forest has gone. The good news is that at least some of our native species are managing to make do in the blocks of exotic forestry plantations that now cover approximately … [Read more...] about Falcons learn to live an ‘exotic’ life
Birds can spend a significant portion of their lives at roosting sites – up to two thirds of their time – so it makes sense that suitable sites are important to them. With translocation being a key strategy in rare species management, it would be good to know what features our bird species value in … [Read more...] about What makes a great kiwi burrow?
Weka are largish, robust-looking and with a keen curiosity that suggests they’re no birdbrains. They’re also opportunist pilferers if there’s chook food around or even leftovers in the dog’s bowl. They’re tough enough that in some cases they’ve had to be eradicated from offshore islands because of … [Read more...] about Weka are tough – but are they tough enough?
Blue ducks (whio) live in both the North and South Island – they’re isolated by distance, but how isolated are they genetically? Physically there are visual differences – the South Island whio is larger, for example. But just how deep do those differences go? Genetic difference matters when … [Read more...] about Blue ducks – how different is ‘different’?
Kea numbers are decreasing. Nesting adult females, their eggs and chicks are highly at risk from mammal predators. But are there other, invisible risks too? Extinction risk isn’t simply a numbers game – it’s not just the population size of a species that indicates whether it’s at risk of becoming … [Read more...] about Genetic diversity – what do we know about kea?
Kiwi call counts are an important monitoring tool in kiwi recovery projects, but just how accurate are they? The time of night you choose, the weather, the season and other environmental factors can all potentially affect kiwi calling and best practice recommendations have been formulated to reflect … [Read more...] about Study investigates kiwi call count parameters
We’ve got a pretty good idea of the damage being done to our native wildlife by introduced predators, but when it comes to introduced diseases, there has been little research done on the impact those diseases might be having. Take, for example, the parasitic disease avian malaria. Like human … [Read more...] about Avian malaria – is it a threat?
As our only native land mammal, bats are both vulnerable to introduced mammal predators and potentially vulnerable to the methods used to control those predators. It is critically important therefore, that any ‘collateral’ harm done by the control method is significantly less than the damage that … [Read more...] about Long-term study reveals bat response to predator control