Habitat use by the critically endangered orange-fronted parakeet (Cyanoramphus malherbi) on Maud Island: its relevance for future translocations
|Title||Habitat use by the critically endangered orange-fronted parakeet (Cyanoramphus malherbi) on Maud Island: its relevance for future translocations|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2012|
|Type of Article||Article|
|Keywords||bird conservation, endangered species, habitat use, Orange-fronted Parakeet, reintroduction|
Orange-fronted parakeets (Cyanoramphus malherbi) are New Zealand’s rarest parakeet species with a global population of less than 500 individuals on remnant mainland populations and reintroduced populations on offshore islands. Since there is limited information about habitat preferences by this species on offshore islands I characterised habitat use on Maud Island, where captive-bred parakeets were introduced in 2007. I compared the vegetation characteristics of 29 plots (each 25 m2) where parakeets were encountered and 23 plots randomly selected. Parakeets were observed foraging in 96.6% of the plots. Plots used by parakeets showed significantly higher density of stems under 20 cm dbh and a higher canopy than random plots. Used plots also tended to have greater canopy cover and lower understory and ground vegetation covers. These results indicate that orange-fronted parakeets use ecotones of broadleaf coastal forest-manuka scrub, and pine plantations-manuka scrub for foraging highlighting the potential value of islands with mixed patches of these vegetation types as future refuges for this critically endangered species.