Relationship between mohua (Mohoua ochrocephala) breeding density and vegetation in a red beech (Nothofagus fusca) forest
|Title||Relationship between mohua (Mohoua ochrocephala) breeding density and vegetation in a red beech (Nothofagus fusca) forest|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2011|
|Authors||Lawrence, BL, Elliott, GP, Westbrooke, I|
|Type of Article||Article|
|Keywords||density, habitat, milling, Mohoua ochrocephala, Mohua|
Mohua are endemic to the South Island of New Zealand but they have declined in both range and abundance. The causes of decline include predation from introduced predators and forest clearance. Mohua have survived in reasonable numbers in the Dart Valley in west Otago. In this paper we describe the relationship between the presence of mohua breeding territories and vegetation at a 1 ha scale within low altitude, red beech-dominated forest. The extent of shrub or regeneration was found to have the strongest association with the presence/absence of breeding mohua. Other factors which increase leaf volume, such as forest-edge and broken canopy were also important in explaining the presence of mohua. Milling was found to have a long lasting negative impact (>70 years) on mohua presence. Management which reduces grazing and increases the shrub and regeneration forest component is likely to increase mohua carrying capacity.