Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Invasive mammal pests impacts on biodiversity

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New Zealand’s unique and diverse native species are highly vulnerable to invasive mammals. New Zealand has an excellent record of conserving biodiversity by managing pests at relatively few high-value sites, but conservation strategies centred on single sites face constant pressure of pest reinvasion and risk local, irreversible extinctions of native species.

In this MSI-funded programme we build on New Zealand’s conservation achievements by conducting research to manage threats from pests in a broader landscape context to create resilient networks of sites.

The aim of the programme is to determine when and where to control pests by managing threats to native biota at local and regional scales. It has three main components to:

  • develop conceptual frameworks for landscape-based pest animal management
  • quantify the impacts of mammal pests on native biota and develop models linking pest abundance to impacts
  • measure and model changes in pest species’ abundance under a range of scenarios: natural fluctuations (masts); climate change; in successional landscapes; after pest control; and following reinvasion of pest mammals across control boundaries


  • Glen AS, Byrom AE, Pech RP, Cruz J, Schwab A, Sweetapple PJ, Yockney I, Nugent G, Coleman M, Whitford J 2012. Ecology of brushtail possums in a New Zealand dryland ecosystem. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 36(1): 29-37.
  • Glen AS, Hamilton T, McKenzie D, Ruscoe WA, Byrom AE 2012. Kiwi Apteryx mantelli population recovery through community-led trapping of invasive non-native mammals in Northland, New Zealand. Conservation Evidence 9: 22–27.
  • Stokes V, Banks P, Pech R 2012. Influence of residency and social odors in interactions between competing native and alien rodents. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 66(2): 329-338.
  • Duncan RP, Holland EP, Pech RP, Barron MC, Nugent G, Parkes JP 2011. The relationship between possum density and browse damage on kamahi in New Zealand forests. Austral ecology 36(7): 858-869.
  • Glen A, Byrom A, Pech R, Yockney I 2011. Insights into the ecology of possums on Molesworth’s drylands. Protect Autumn 2011: 13.
  • Jones C, Pech R, Forrester G, King CM, Murphy EC 2011. Functional responses of an invasive top predator Mustela erminea to invasive meso-predators Rattus rattus and Mus musculus, in New Zealand forests. Wildlife research 38(2): 131-140.
  • Ruscoe WA, Ramsey DSL, Pech RP, Sweetapple PJ, Yockney I, Barron MC, Perry M, Nugent G, Carran R, Warne R, Brausch C, Duncan RP 2011. Unexpected consequences of control: competitive vs. predator release in a four-species assemblage of invasive mammals. Ecology Letters 14(10): 1035-1042.
  • Ruscoe W, Cave S, Sweetapple P, Pech R, Barron M, Yockney I, Perry M, Carran R, Brausch C 2010. Species interactions and consequences of pest control in forest ecosystems. Protect Autumn: 13-14.
  • Pech RP, Jiebu, Arthur AD, Yanming Z, Hui L 2007. Population dynamcis and responses to management of plateau pikas Ochotona curzoniae. Journal of applied ecology 44(3): 615-624.
  • Williams CK, Davey CC, Moore LA, Hinds A, Silvers LE, Kerr PJ, French N, Hood GM, Pech RP, Krebs CJ 2007. Population responses to sterility imposed on female European rabbits. Journal of applied ecology 44(2): 291-301.
  • Davey C, Sinclair ARE, Pech RP, Arthur AD, Krebs CJ, Newsome AE, Hik D, Molsher R, Allcock K 2006. Do exotic vertebrates structure the biota of Australia? An experimental test in New South Wales. Ecosystems 9(6): 992-1008.
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