Sunday, November 28, 2021

Diet of kereru (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) in a rural-urban landscape, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

TitleDiet of kereru (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) in a rural-urban landscape, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsCampbell, KL, Schotborgh, MH, Wilson, K-J, Ogilvie, SC
Type of Articlearticle
KeywordsBanks Peninsula, diet, Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae, Kereru, rural-urban landscape

The diet of 30 radio-tagged kereru (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) was studied at 4 sites on Banks Peninsula, New Zealand, from Feb 2004 to Feb 2006, in 2 main habitat types: 1) highly modified rural-urban habitats where introduced plant species were common and remnants of native forest small, and 2) a habitat containing relatively few introduced species with a large area of regenerating native forest (Hinewai Reserve). Kereru at Hinewai had the most varied diet and ate a higher proportion of native plant species (82%) than those at rural-urban sites where only half the diet comprised native species. At all sites, native fruits were the most frequently eaten foods during mid-summer and autumn. Foliage and flowers of introduced plants - tree lucerne (Chamaecytisus palmensis) and fruit trees (Prunus and Malus spp.) at rural-urban sites, and broom (Cytisus scoparius) at Hinewai - were most frequently eaten prior to the breeding season. Kereru at all sites made multiple breeding attempts. This suggested that food was not limiting and foliage of introduced species can allow kereru to breed successfully. Food sources for kereru on Banks Peninsula, and potentially in similar habitats throughout New Zealand, could be improved based on the list of food species compiled during this study. Advantages and disadvantages of using introduced plant species for enhancement of food sources are discussed.

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