Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Endangered bird may be more at home in lowland environment

Endangered bird may be more at home in lowland environment

A native bird long thought to be most at home in Fiordland tussock may actually be more comfortable in wetlands and a Waikato University student has won a scholarship to find out where takahe prefer to live.

Masters student Tehani Withers has been awarded a $1500 Tertiary Achievement in Pacific Ako (TAPA) Award to research the habitat requirements of South Island takahe and is comparing open farmland scattered with few mixed gullies and small wetlands on Motutapu Island with the forest of Maungatautari. The aim of this comparative study is to create a template for takahe habitat requirements.

When takahe were rediscovered in 1948 they were found in a mountainous tussock environment and it was assumed that was their preferred habitat. However, pairs have been translocated to many pest-free, off-shore islands and this translocated population has been steadily increasing.

Takahe pairs have also been translocated to fenced mainland sites, such as Maungatautari.

There they were temporarily housed in the forested Southern Enclosure and surprisingly thrived in the environment.

Ms Withers’ research will consider whether takahe were originally a wetland bird species and were rediscovered in tussock grassland because that was their last refuge from predators.

This study will also consider whether takahe might also have lived in forested habitats.

She will compare the behaviour and diet of birds on Motutapu Island (mostly pasture) and Maungatautari (almost entirely forest) during the study.

Ms Withers has first-hand experience with the birds, having recently been involved with the release of two takahe on Motutapu.

Ms Withers and her father – who was visiting at the time – were on Motutapu when the pair were being released and “because we were from Tahiti - and there is an island with the name Motutapu in French Polynesia – iwi asked me and my dad to release each bird,” she says.

She hopes the scholarship will allow her to establish a general plan for takahe habitat requirements, including preferred plants, for the restoration and management of takahe habitats and to help breeding success.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Dry: Beef + Lamb Launches Drought Resources

The resources include a fact sheet outlining strategies to manage and mitigate the effects of drought, coping with stress on the farm and advice on feed requirements and animal welfare during the dry period. More>>

ALSO:

InternetNZ: Net Neutrality Failure In US "Will Hurt All Users"

InternetNZ Chief Executive Jordan Carter has condemned the decision by the United States communications regulator to undo 2015 open Internet rules, warning that all Internet users will end up worse off as a result. More>>

ALSO:

Mycoplasma Bovis: More Properties Positive

One of the latest infected properties is in the Hastings district, the other three are within a farming enterprise in Winton. The suspect property is near Ashburton. More>>

ALSO:

Manawatū Gorge Alternative: More Work Needed To Choose Route

“We are currently working closely and in partnership with local councils and other stakeholders to make the right long-term decision. It’s vital we have strong support on the new route as it will represent a very significant long-term investment and it will need to serve the region and the country for decades to come.” More>>

ALSO:

ScoopPro: Helping PR Professionals Get More Out Of Scoop

Scoop.co.nz has been a fixture of New Zealand’s news and Public Relations infrastructure for over 18 years. However, without the financial assistance of those using Scoop in a professional context in key sectors such as Public Relations and media, Scoop will not be able to continue this service... More>>