Increased abundance of the bellbird (Anthornis melanura) in Christchurch, New Zealand
|Title||Increased abundance of the bellbird (Anthornis melanura) in Christchurch, New Zealand|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2014|
|Authors||Spurr, EB, Crossland, AC, Sagar, PM|
|Type of Article||Full Article|
|Keywords||bellbirds, garden bird surveys, mammalian pest control, mammalian predators, transect counts|
Numbers of bellbird (Anthornis melanura), an endemic honeyeater, counted along transects in forest remnants on the Port Hills near the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, increased since the initiation of intensive mammalian pest control in 2006. Bellbird counts also increased along transects in bush reserves and along a 6.5 km cycle route in the city itself, probably as a result of spill-over from source populations on the Port Hills, because few bellbirds breed in the city. In contrast, counts of bellbirds in domestic gardens in the city did not increase, perhaps because of the continued presence of introduced mammalian predators and/or lack of suitable habitat. We suggest the increased abundance of bellbirds in forest remnants on the Port Hills was likely the result of mammalian pest control but the lack of ‘no-treatment’ areas means we cannot rule out other causes of the increase such as changing habitat and food availability.