Friday, July 19, 2019

The native forest birds of Stewart Island/Rakiura: patterns of recent declines and extinctions

TitleThe native forest birds of Stewart Island/Rakiura: patterns of recent declines and extinctions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsHarper, GA
JournalNotornis
Volume56
Issue2
Pagination63-81
Type of Articlearticle
Keywordscats, decline, extinction, Island avifaunas, possums, predation, rats, Stewart Island
Abstract

Abstract Stewart Island/Rakiura, the third largest island in New Zealand, has not had the large-scale forest clearance and introduction of mustelids that has had deleterious impacts on populations of native forest birds on the North and South Islands. However, Stewart Island has had 3 rat species, feral cats and possums introduced, which are known bird predators. It is likely that these species have had serious consequences for the native birds there. As no review of forest birds had been done within the past 80 years, an evaluation of changes in the reported abundance of native bird species on Stewart Island over the past 100 years was carried out, which revealed relatively recent declines and extinctions. Brown teal, rifleman, mohua, South Island kokako, falcon, Stewart Island weka and probably yellow-crown parakeets, have gone extinct on Stewart Island within the past 50 years. Birds showing dramatic declines in the past 100 years include kereru, kaka, kakapo, and robin. Populations of native birds on Stewart Island showed similar patterns of extinctions and declines as the South Island despite fewer agents of decline.

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