Experimental management of Brown Kiwi Apteryx mantelli in central Northland, New Zealand

2010 Bird conservation international  
The population growth of Brown Kiwi Apteryx mantelli was measured under four different management regimes: unmanaged, predator trapping, predator poisoning, and Bank of New Zealand Operation Nest Eggä (BNZONE) -the removal of eggs for artificial incubation and return of resultant subadults to the wild. Life table analysis revealed that high adult mortality (7.3% per annum), caused mainly by domestic dog Canis familiaris and Ferret Mustela furo predation was the critical factor affecting Brown
more » ... wi populations in central Northland. The 13.8-year life expectancy of adults was only one-third of what can be expected in the absence of these two predators. Predation of Brown Kiwi chicks and juveniles (, 1 kg) by Stoats Mustela erminea and, to a lesser extent, domestic cats Felis catus, was also important. Unmanaged populations declined at 2.5% per annum. Trapping pests in a 200 ha area was largely ineffective, with the population declining by 1.7% per annum. Poisoning pests allowed Brown Kiwi populations to increase at 3.3% per annum. BNZONE proved to be by far the most effective tool, resulting in a 12.5% annual population increase, mainly due to 83% chick survival to six months old, compared with 10% survival in unmanaged sites. There were no observable behavioural problems associated with chicks being reared ex situ, but BNZONE was the most expensive tool and benefited only the Brown Kiwi. This study has helped to develop a range of tools that are now being used to facilitate recovery of populations of all four threatened species of kiwi in New Zealand, and the experimental approach used has wider application in management of other threatened species. available at https://www.cambridge.org/core/terms. https://doi.
doi:10.1017/s0959270910000444 fatcat:p7pec4fu4vfw3l2aaokuynnq4q