The relationship between foraging behaviour and habitat use by South Island takahe ( Porphyrio hochstetteri ) on Tiritiri Matangi Island
|Title||The relationship between foraging behaviour and habitat use by South Island takahe ( Porphyrio hochstetteri ) on Tiritiri Matangi Island|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2003|
|Authors||Baber, MJ, Craig, JL|
|Type of Article||paper|
|Keywords||foraging behaviour, habitat use, Porphyrio hochstetteri, South Island takahe, Tiritiri Matangi Island|
We investigated the habitat use and foraging behaviour of 3 South Island takahe (Porphyrio hochstetteri) family groups on Tiritiri Matangi Island, from Nov 1994 to Oct 1995. Takahe used habitats that offered abundant grasses, specifically grass/shrub mosaic and managed grass tracks, but open grassland was avoided. The preference was attributed to the higher risk of predation by Australasian harriers (Circus approximans) in this habitat as a result of a lack of sheltering trees or shrubs. Temporal patterns in habitat use reflected seasonal changes in food availability and breeding condition (age of chick). Most importantly, takahe family groups used the seasonally available grass seedheads in the grassland/shrub mosaic and the invertebrates in forest when chicks were young. The ability of Tiritiri Matangi to support takahe is likely to decrease as the suitable grass/shrub mosaic reverts to forest under the revegetation programme.