Friday, October 22, 2021

Results of a community-based acoustic survey of ruru (moreporks) in Hamilton city

TitleResults of a community-based acoustic survey of ruru (moreporks) in Hamilton city
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsMorgan, DKJ, Styche, A
Type of ArticleArticle
Keywordscitizen science, morepork, New Zealand, Ninox novaeseelandiae, ruru, urban ecology

Ruru or moreporks (Ninox novaeseelandiae) are an iconic native species that are relatively widespread in New Zealand, yet little is known about populations that reside within urban areas. Here we present results from a ruru survey conducted by volunteers within the city of Hamilton, New Zealand to: 1) collect baseline data for future comparative ruru surveys, and 2) to introduce and promote ornithology to a wider audience. In addition, these data may be used to quantify the success of urban restoration projects and pest control operations, as many of the desired outcomes of those projects (e.g., increased native vegetation and reduced mammalian predators) would have a positive impact on ruru numbers. Twenty sites were surveyed in areas such as amenity parks and gullys with established vegetation. Teams of observers recorded the time and approximate bearing of all ruru vocalisations at sites for 1 h each night for 5 consecutive nights between 2000-2230 hours in late October 2011. Ruru were detected at 80% (16/20) of sites at least once over the survey period; at 13 of these sites ruru were detected on >2 nights, while birds were detected every night at 5 sites. Multiple birds were detected at 11 sites, which suggested that some may have been resident pairs and breeding. We recommend that including members of the public in similar surveys is highly desirable as it raises awareness around conservation issues and introduces ornithology to a wider audience.

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