A case of natural recovery after the removal of invasive predators – community assemblage changes in the avifauna of Burgess Island

Ismar, Stefanie M. H., Baird, K. A., Gaskin, C. P., Taylor, G. A., Tennyson, A. J. D., Rayner, M. J., Bettesworth, D., Fitzgerald, N., Landers, T. J. and Imber, M. J. (2014) A case of natural recovery after the removal of invasive predators – community assemblage changes in the avifauna of Burgess Island Notornis, 61 . pp. 188-195.

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Abstract

Opportunities to monitor natural island ecosystem recovery following the eradication of introduced predators are rare, and provide a useful comparison for recovery programmes aided by active habitat restoration and species translocations. We present an assessment of the current avifauna on Burgess Island, Mokohinau Group, 2 decades after kiore (Pacific rat; Rattus exulans) removal. The 4 most abundant land bird species we recorded are red-crowned parakeet (Cyanorhamphus novaezelandiae), bellbird (Anthornis melanura), tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) and silvereye (Zosterops lateralis), all New Zealand native taxa. Our records confirm that 46 species now utilize the island’s habitats, compared with 24 species reported from the literature during the last decades of rat infestation. We also confirm breeding of 9 seabird species by 2011, only 4 of which maintained breeding populations on Burgess Island prior to rat eradication. More than 20 years after predator removal, Burgess Island hosts a rich avifauna, and provides a valuable example of natural recovery following predator eradication without any further active restoration measures

Document Type: Article
Keywords: habitat recovery; rat eradication; re-colonisation; species richness; terrestrial birds
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0029-4470
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2014 08:54
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2017 13:12
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/25995

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