Directed Research Projects
Vegetation composition and Relative abundance of native birds on Motuihe
Motuihe is one of a growing number of islands in the Hauraki Gulf that are free of mammalian predators. Vegetation surveys are carried out on a 5-year cycle. Bird surveys every two or three years. We use seven native bird species as bioindicators of changes resulting from eradication of mammalian pests and habitat restoration through planting and natural regeneration of vegetation. This work is a part of a longitudinal monitoring study that began in 2005. There are only a few small pockets of old growth forest left on the island, and bird species which rely on these habitats are largely absent. The regeneration of native vegetation is characterised by relatively rapid growth of pioneer species. Bird species respond to the changes in vegetation structure, as well the changes in abundance of (seasonal) food.