Auckland Museum

Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland Museum

Auckland, New Zealand
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Romo C.M.,New Zealand Forest Research Institute | Massart X.,New Zealand Forest Research Institute | Early J.W.,Auckland Museum
New Zealand Entomologist | Year: 2017

The polyphagous ectoparasitoid, Rhopalicus tutela (Walker), introduced to New Zealand as a biological control agent of Hylastes ater (Paykull) during the 1970s, has recently been collected from a forest park in Canterbury. Researchers previously thought that the species had failed to establish at release sites around the North Island. Monitoring of the species was ceased in 1985 and research into its potential to control bark beetle populations was abandoned. Mystery surrounds whether the discovered population is part of the original introduction or may have arrived to New Zealand on its own. © 2017 The Entomological Society of New Zealand

Wilson K.-J.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | Rayner M.J.,Auckland Museum
Global Ecology and Conservation | Year: 2015

Conservation of gadfly petrels, some of the most threatened seabirds, is frequently dependent on long-term research and management. We review 20 years of a program preventing the extinction of the Chatham petrel (Pterodroma axillaris), a New Zealand endemic once declining due to intense burrow competition from another native seabird. Breeding success in the early 1990s was unsustainably low (10-30%). Recovery measures started in 1992 when Chatham petrel burrows were converted and artificial entrances blockaded to exclude broad-billed prions (Pachyptila vittata). Pair and burrow fidelity were enhanced, though prions still posed a threat during Chatham petrel chick-rearing. Breeding success improved when prions were culled, however a less intensive and contentious solution was to introduce burrow flaps in 2001 which reduced interference from prospecting prions. Subsequently, breeding success increased to a mean 80% per annum. Finding burrows, primarily using radio-telemetry, increased those under management from eight in 1990 to 217 in 2010 when spotlight surveys indicated 72% of juvenile birds had fledged from managed burrows. Chick translocations to two other islands and increasing population size (from 200-400 birds in 1990 to an estimated 1400 birds by 2010) has improved the species IUCN status from Critically Endangered in 1990 to Endangered in 2013. © 2014 The Authors.

Ward D.F.,Landcare Research | Early J.W.,Auckland Museum | Schnitzler F.-R.,Landcare Research
New Zealand Entomologist | Year: 2012

Two species of New Zealand Hymenoptera, a colletid bee Leioproctus nunui and a gasteruptiid Gasteruption scintillans, are considered Threatened: Both are ranked Nationally Critical. Twenty taxa are At Risk, comprising two taxa that are Declining with the remainder classified as Naturally Uncommon. A further 47 taxa are Data Deficient, and 669 known species are either Not Threatened or Introduced and Naturalised. © 2012 The Entomological Society of New Zealand.

Bellingham P.J.,Landcare Research | Wiser S.K.,Landcare Research | Wright A.E.,Canterbury Museum | Cameron E.K.,Auckland Museum
Biological Conservation | Year: 2010

Many remote islands are degraded as a result of deforestation and browsing of vegetation by introduced goats. Goat eradication is therefore a focus for island restoration, but there are few long-term records of change on islands after eradications. In 1946, three permanent plots were established immediately after goats were eradicated from Great Island (Manawa Tawhi), 60 km from northern New Zealand, and provide a 57-year record of change across a sequence of forest succession. Since 1946, the native and non-native bird communities that disperse 75% of the woody flora have increased from six to eight species and bird-dispersed woody plants in plots have increased from 7 to 11 species. After 1946, palatable trees were recruited in the plots. Unpalatable understorey sedges, present when goats were abundant, have persisted and may impede tree seedling establishment. Of the bird-dispersed woody plant species, 41% occur in the plots compared with 67% of the non-bird-dispersed species. Large-seeded species were unable to germinate away from parents until native pigeons Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae were present during the last decade. Forest succession is a consequence of interactions between the legacy of goat grazing and current disperser communities. Survival of seed-limited rare plants is not guaranteed in these circumstances. Although non-native goats no longer influence succession directly, non-native birds have been and remain important components of the disperser community. Our study supports the view that a whole-ecosystem understanding of the interactions between native and non-native species is needed to predict the consequences of eradications on islands worldwide. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Nelson W.A.,NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research | Wilcox M.D.,Auckland Museum
New Zealand Journal of Botany | Year: 2010

The brown alga Rosenvingea sanctae-crucis (Ectocarpales, Scytosiphonaceae) is recorded from New Zealand for the first time. It was found in the Tamaki Estuary, Auckland in May 2009, and is considered to be a very recent introduction to the New Zealand region. © 2010 The Royal Society of New Zealand.

Bellingham P.J.,Landcare Research | Towns D.R.,Private Bag | Cameron E.K.,Auckland Museum | Davis J.J.,Ngati Hei Trust | And 4 more authors.
New Zealand Journal of Ecology | Year: 2010

New Zealand's offshore and outlying islands have long been a focus of conservation biology as sites of local endemism and as last refuges for many species. During the c. 730 years since New Zealand has been settled by people, mammalian predators have invaded many islands and caused local and global extinctions. New Zealand has led international efforts in island restoration. By the late 1980s, translocations of threatened birds to predator-free islands were well under way to safeguard against extinction. Non-native herbivores and predators, such as goats and cats, had been eradicated from some islands. A significant development in island restoration in the mid-1980s was the eradication of rats from small forested islands. This eradication technology has been refined and currently at least 65 islands, including large and remote Campbell (11 216 ha) and Raoul (2938 ha) Islands, have been successfully cleared of rats. Many of New Zealand's offshore islands, especially those without predatory mammals, are home to large numbers of breeding seabirds. Seabirds influence ecosystem processes on islands by enhancing soil fertility and through soil disturbance by burrowing. Predators, especially rats, alter ecosystem processes and cause population reductions or extinctions of native animals and plants. Islands have been promoted as touchstones of a primaeval New Zealand, but we are now increasingly aware that most islands have been substantially modified since human settlement of New Zealand. Archaeological and palaeoecological investigations, together with the acknowledgement that many islands have been important mahinga kai (sources of food) for Māori, have all led to a better understanding of how people have modified these islands. Restoration technology may have vaulted ahead of our ability to predict the ecosystem consequences of its application on islands. However, research is now being directed to help make better decisions about restoration and management of islands, decisions that take account of island history and key drivers of island ecosystem functioning. © New Zealand Ecological Society.

Huynen L.,Griffith University | Huynen L.,Massey University | Gill B.J.,Auckland Museum | Millar C.D.,University of Auckland | Lambert D.M.,Griffith University
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2010

New Zealand's extinct flightless moa radiated rapidly into a large number of morphologically diverse species, which produced an equally large range of egg morphologies. The exact number of moa species, as well as the characteristics of the eggs they laid, remains contentious. Moreover, like most extinct species, we understand little about their nesting and incubation habits. We used amodified ancient DNA extraction procedure to recover exogenous mitochondrial and nuclear DNA from the inside and outside surfaces of moa eggs. We used sequences from the inside of 69 eggshells to directly assign these remains to seven of the 10 currently recognized moa species. In additionwe were able to assign, to the species level, six of the rare reconstructed "whole" eggs. These molecular results enabled us to identify two distinct lineages within the genus Euryapteryx. Members of these lineages differed in eggshell thickness,with one lineage being characterized by a relatively thin eggshell. Unexpectedly, several thin-shelled eggs were also shown to belong to the heaviest moa of the genera Dinornis, Euryapteryx and Emeus, making these, to our knowledge, the most fragile of all avian eggs measured to date. Moreover, sex-specific DNA recovered from the outer surfaces of eggshells belonging to species of Dinornis and Euryapteryx suggest that these very thin eggs were likely to have been incubated by the lighter males. The thin nature of the eggshells of these larger species of moa, even if incubated by the male, suggests that egg breakage in these species would have been common if the typical contact method of avian egg incubation was used.

The yellow-green algae Vaucheria velutina and Vaucheria longicaulis are identified using morphological characters of fertile material from the eastern coastline of Auckland. The former species occurs in extensive low intertidal beds on sheltered, muddy shores. The latter species was found in Orakei Basin, and is a new record for New Zealand. © 2012 The Royal Society of New Zealand.

Duffy C.A.J.,Auckland Museum | Scott M.,67B New Cascade Road
Zootaxa | Year: 2016

The occurrence of the sandbar shark Carcharhinus plumbeus at Norfolk Island is confirmed. Carcharhinus plumbeus occurs over the mid to outer insular shelf from 38 m to at least 53 m depth, and appears to be at least as abundant as C. galapagensis in this habitat. No C. plumbeus were caught from shore despite most fishing effort being land-based. The presence of young-of-the-year confirms C. plumbeus breeds on the Norfolk Island shelf. Size at birth and the timing of parturition appear similar to that reported for eastern Australia. Copyright © 2016 Magnolia Press.

PubMed | 67B New Cascade Road and Auckland Museum
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Zootaxa | Year: 2016

The occurrence of the sandbar shark Carcharhinus plumbeus at Norfolk Island is confirmed. Carcharhinus plumbeus occurs over the mid to outer insular shelf from 38 m to at least 53 m depth, and appears to be at least as abundant as C. galapagensis in this habitat. No C. plumbeus were caught from shore despite most fishing effort being land-based. The presence of young-of-the-year confirms C. plumbeus breeds on the Norfolk Island shelf. Size at birth and the timing of parturition appear similar to that reported for eastern Australia.

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