Waitangi, New Zealand
Waitangi, New Zealand

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Powlesland R.G.,Chatham Islands Taiko Trust | Bell M.,Chatham Islands Taiko Trust | Tuanui E.A.,Chatham Islands Taiko Trust | Tuanui B.M.,Chatham Islands Taiko Trust | Monks J.M.,Ecosystems Unit
Notornis | Year: 2013

The Chatham Islands tomtit (Petroica macrocephala chathamensis) is a small forest passerine with a threat ranking of nationally endangered.It is restricted to 2 islands of the Chathams group that are free of introduced predators (Rangatira and Mangere Islands), and 1 with mice (Mus musculus) and feral cats (Felis catus) (Pitt Island).We carried out a translocation of 35 juvenile tomtits from Rangatira (10 male, 10 female) and Pitt Islands (6 male, 9 female) to Awatotara Valley, Chatham Island in January 2011.Mean weight at capture of Pitt Island tomtits was lighter than that of the Rangatira Island tomtits.Tomtits were held captive in aviaries for 1-3 days on the source islands and 2-4 days at the release site.Weight loss of tomtits in captivity prior to transfer averaged 1.8% of body mass per day held and was more pronounced in birds sourced from Rangatira than Pitt Island.Two birds died during the first night after transfer, but the other 33 were released in apparently good health.Eighteen of the released birds were seen at least once, and 11 regularly until 28 March (at least 55 days after release).During the following 12 days, all 11 of these tomtits disappeared.We discuss possible reasons for their disappearance, and aspects of the translocation that may be useful for future translocations of tomtits and other species with a similar ecology.© The Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Inc.


Bell M.,Chatham Islands Taiko Trust | Tuanui E.A.,Chatham Islands Taiko Trust | Tuanui B.M.,Chatham Islands Taiko Trust
Notornis | Year: 2013

The Chatham Islands tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae chathamensis) is a large forest honeyeater with a threat ranking of nationally endangered.It is restricted to a single population commuting between Pitt and South East Islands, with an estimated global population of 260 adults.We carried out a translocation of 54 juvenile tui from South East Island (42 females, 12 males) to the Awatotara Valley, Chatham Island in March 2009 (14 birds) and February 2010 (40 birds).Tui were held captive in an aviary for 2-8 days on the source island, and 3-6 days at the release site.Tui lost weight in captivity prior to transfer, but birds held for longer periods recouped more weight than those held briefly.Post-release survival was high; all birds from the 2009 cohort survived their first winter to breed at the release site.Survival of the 2010 cohort was less (54%), but this may have been due to our reduced ability to detect birds following wider dispersal.This translocation was part of a community project and has seen unprecedented support from the Chatham Island community and is a major step forward in the development of community driven conservation in the Chatham Islands.© The Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Inc.

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