Kararehe Kino - Vertebrate Pest Research, Issue 18
June 2011 — Drylands Edition
In this issue
Introduction – New Zealand’s dryland environments
New Zealand’s dryland zone is located in the rain shadow east of the main mountain ranges and includes parts of the East Coast, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington, Nelson-Marlborough, Canterbury, Otago, and Southland.
Protecting biodiversity in Central Otago
Most of New Zealand’s threatened indigenous dryland biodiversity is on land that is privately or commercially owned and faces multiple threats, including agricultural land clearance, pests and weeds.
What drives the dynamics of indigenous and invasive fauna in grassland ecosystems?
Grant Norbury and colleagues are studing the population responses of common lizards, invertebrates (including weta), mice and rabbits to a DoC predator control operation to protect the critically endangered skinks.
Community responses to livestock removal from drylands
Plant communities are complex and the removal of grazing pressures may result in unexpected changes to community diversity and structure.
Growth rates and recruitment of native shrubs on retired Crown land
Andrea Byrom and colleagues explore an important aspect of the effect of removing livestock: the recruitment and growth of shrubs.
Why do indigenous fauna often fail to respond to predator control?
Grant Norbury and colleagues conducted a large-scale field experiment in Otago to examine the impacts of introduced predatory mammals on local indigenous fauna.
Response monitoring and cost–benefit analysis drives adaptive management of critically endangered skinks
The Department of Conservation (DOC) has over the last six years expanded its protection of critically endangered grand and Otago skinks from an experimental scale to an area providing medium-term security for both species.
Possum ecology: diet, home range, movement patterns and denning
Little is known about the ecology of possums in New Zealand’s drylands, despite possums being common there and subject to control over vast areas to mitigate their spreading of bovine TB.
Impact of rabbits (and sheep) on drylands
John Parkes and colleagues modelled the effects of changing rabbit and sheep numbers on the seasonal growth rate of the vegetation.
Rabbits on the increase
Landcare Research scientists, led by Bruce Warburton, have received funding from the Crown to extend recent research on possum control to the control of rabbits.
Prototype interactive, multi-species model for invasive mammals
Dan Tompkins and colleagues have been developing a computer simulation model for vertebrate pest communities in New Zealand’s drylands.
Mythbusters – can predators control rabbits in New Zealand?
How well do some widely held views match up with available scientific evidence?
Some recent vertebrate-pest-related publications.