Thursday, December 2, 2021

Conservation translocations of New Zealand birds, 1863-2012

TitleConservation translocations of New Zealand birds, 1863-2012
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsMiskelly, CM, Powlesland, RG
Type of ArticleFull article
Keywordsconservation, ecological restoration, New Zealand birds, threatened bird management, translocation

Translocations (deliberate movement and release of wildlife) have been of crucial importance in the management of New Zealand threatened birds, and as part of site restoration projects. We review attempts to translocate New Zealand birds for conservation reasons since 1863. Following an early pulse from 1895-1908, there was concerted and increasing effort (both in the number of translocations and the number of taxa translocated) and success since the early 1960s. Sixty- eight taxa (55 species) of New Zealand birds have been translocated in over 1100 separate releases, with new populations of 50 taxa (41 species) successfully established. Translocations of 9 further taxa (7 further species) are in progress. Overall, 61% of New Zealand’s extant endemic waterfowl, shorebird and landbird taxa have been translocated (51% of the total successfully, with an additional 4% in progress). Five taxa exist solely as translocated populations (little spotted kiwi Apteryx owenii, buff weka Gallirallus australis hectori, kakapo Strigops habroptilus, South Island saddleback Philesturnus carunculatus and black robin Petroica traversi), and 10 further taxa would be confined to single wild populations but for successful translocations. Most translocations were undertaken within historical ranges, however, 6 taxa have been established beyond their historical ranges, with attempts for 2 further taxa in progress.

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