Mortality, distribution, numbers and conservation of the Chatham Island Pigeon ( Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae chathamensis )
|Title||Mortality, distribution, numbers and conservation of the Chatham Island Pigeon ( Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae chathamensis )|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1997|
|Authors||Grant, AD, Powlesland, RG, Dilks, PJ, Flux, IA, Tisdall, CJ|
|Type of Article||paper|
|Keywords||Chatham Island Pigeon, conservation, distribution, fruit pigeon, Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae chathamensis, mortality, numbers|
The Chatham Island Pigeon or Parea (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae chathamensis), is the endangered subspecies, endemic to the Chatham Islands, of the New Zealand Pigeon or Kereru (H. n. novaeseelandiae). During the early period of European and Maori settlement, 1820s to 1870s, Parea were common on Chatham, Pitt and Mangere Islands, but by 1990 the population possibly comprised fewer than 50 birds, mostly in forest habitats of the southern part of Chatham Island. Between 1989 and 1994, the numbers of feral cats and brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) were reduced in areas occupied by Parea in the Awatotara and Tuku Valleys of south-western Chatham Island The adult Parea population of these valleys increased three-fold from 27 in 1990 to 81 in 1994. The long-term future of the Parea is dependent on the exclusion of cattle, pigs and sheep from forest reserves. Keeping cat and possum numbers at low levels in Parea habitat on Chatham Island, and the establishment of a population on Pitt Island once cats have been removed from one or more of its reserves.