Introduction

Key objectives are to test the effectiveness of management techniques and for that reason all activities are closely monitored.

Five-minute bird count line.
Five-minute bird count line

Key objectives for the Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project (RNRP) are to test the effectiveness of management techniques and for that reason all activities are closely monitored.

With pest control this involves pest abundance before and after treatment, changes in abundance of the identified prey species and comparisons with the same parameters in a non-treatment site away from the mainland island.

Various techniques have been used to do this:

  • Chew sticks to assess possum abundance.
  • Five-minute bird counts along fixed transects for changes in birdlife.
  • Tracking tunnels with inked pads to detect the presence and relative abundance of rodents and mustelids.

Tracking tunnel.
Tracking tunnel

The methods used to control pests and the methods used to measure this effect have mostly been developed elsewhere. When new or varied techniques have been trialed, they have been designed to develop standardised procedures that could be used in similar circumstances elsewhere e.g. wasp control.

The RNRP has a scientific advisory group that includes ecologists from universities. This ensures that the work is influenced by the latest scientific knowledge, and the RNRP provides a site for these scientists and their students to continue relevant research.

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