DM Consultants

Merivale, New Zealand

DM Consultants

Merivale, New Zealand
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Gartrell B.D.,Massey University | Collen R.,62 Bain Street | Dowding J.E.,DM Consultants | Gummer H.,6 Weku Road Pukerua Bay | And 6 more authors.
Wildlife Research | Year: 2013

Context Oil spills cause significant detrimental impacts on many shoreline species. There is limited information in the scientific literature about the management and response of shorebirds to oil spills. Northern New Zealand dotterels (Charadrius obscurus aquilonius) were pre-emptively captured as part of the oiled wildlife response to the container vessel Rena oil spill, to ensure the survival of a regional population should there be a catastrophic release of oil. Previous attempts to hold dotterels in captivity have resulted in high mortality. Aims To describe the captive husbandry and veterinary management of wild-caught adult dotterels, to outline the common problems encountered, and make recommendations for future captive management. Methods The dotterels were caught by noose mat on beaches at risk of further contamination by oil. Initially, dotterels were kept individually indoors and force-fed until they converted to self-feeding on a diet of an artificial insect analogue, ox heart and mealworms. Once self-feeding, the birds were shifted to individual outdoor aviaries. Key results Sixty dotterels were caught. About half of birds had oil contamination of the legs, nine birds had light oil staining of feathers and only three of these birds required washing. The degree of oiling and washing did not affect survival. Dotterels took a median of 5 days (range 1-15 days) to convert to the captive diet. Common problems encountered in captivity included carpal and beak abrasions (61.7%) and pododermatitis (75%); however, these did not affect survival. Seven birds (11.7%) developed respiratory disease and six of these died from aspergillosis. The incidence of aspergillosis increased with length of time in captivity and was largely refractory to treatment. The 54 surviving birds were released at their capture sites after a median time of 49 days in captivity (with a range of 39-61 days). Conclusions The captive management of the dotterels achieved a 90% survival rate over a period of about 2 months. Deaths were solely due to respiratory aspergillosis, but intensive captive husbandry was required to convert the birds to a captive diet, to minimise traumatic injuries and to manage pododermatitis. Implications Although the captive management of shorebird species as a pre-emptive strategy to minimise the effects of oil spills carries significant costs and risks to the birds, it should be considered in the emergency management of high-priority species. © 2013 CSIRO.

Dowding J.E.,DM Consultants | O'Connor S.M.,Science and Technical Group
Notornis | Year: 2013

The shore plover (Thinornis novaeseelandiae) is a highly threatened shorebird endemic to New Zealand.It is particularly susceptible to introduced mammalian predators, and has a very small total population and a very limited range.This paper lists the translocations that have formed the core of the shore plover recovery programme over the past 22 years, and summarises the outcomes.In the early 1990s, a captive population was established in mainland New Zealand using birds reared from eggs transferred from the last self-sustaining wild population on the Chatham Islands.Since 1994, captive-bred birds have been released on 5 offshore islands around the New Zealand mainland in attempts to found new populations.There have also been transfers of wild-bred birds from South East I to Mangere I in the Chatham Is.Between 1994 and April 2012, 404 juvenile and 28 adult shore plover have been released at a total of 6 sites.Birds bred at 4 of the 6 sites, and breeding populations established at 3 of them.However, recent mammalian predator incursions at 1 (and probably 2) of those, and habitat limitation at the 3rd, mean that the translocated populations are all currently small (6 pairs or less), and their long-term future is uncertain.Other challenges faced during the programme include avian predation of released birds, high rates of dispersal, and outbreaks of avian pox.In spite of recent setbacks, the risk of extinction for the species has gradually been reduced.Since 1990, a self-sustaining captive population has been set up, the number of breeding pairs has increased, and the number of breeding populations in the wild has risen from 2 to 4 (although 1 is currently facing extirpation).Features of the shore plover programme that have contributed to these outcomes are outlined.Aspects of shore plover ecology revealed by the translocations are noted.While progress has been made, existing populations will need to grow, and further populations will need to be established before the shore plover's threat ranking improves.© The Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Inc.

Ogden J.,Great Barrier Island Environmental Trust | Dowding J.E.,DM Consultants
Notornis | Year: 2013

We present the first detailed data on the Great Barrier Island (GBI) subpopulation of the northern New Zealand doterel (NNZD; Charadrius obscurus aquilonius). The breeding season population has averaged 48 birds (range: 41-64) since 2000. At Awana on GBI, productivity has averaged >1.0 fledged chick per pair-year. The apparent survivorship of adult birds was less than that in the North Auckland subpopulation. After breeding, most GBI birds congregated at Whangapoua Estuary/Okiwi Spit in the north of the island, making this a site of international importance under the Ramsar Convention (1971). The post-breeding population of c.56 birds (range: 41-77) was augmented by local juveniles and input from elsewhere. Banding returns provided evidence of movement between GBI and the adjacent mainland subpopulation on the Coromandel Peninsula. There was no evidence that fewer predatory mammal species on GBI benefits the species at present. Conservation emphasis should focus on controlling mammalian predators and managing human impacts at breeding sites, especially early in the breeding season. © The Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Inc.

Dowding J.E.,DM Consultants | Elliott M.J.,Hokitika Office | Murphy E.C.,Science & Policy
New Zealand Journal of Zoology | Year: 2015

Stoats are significant predators of native fauna in New Zealand. They occur in many habitat types and consume a wide range of prey. The diet of stoats in the Tasman River, South Canterbury, was studied by analysis of scats and den contents. Analysis of 206 scats showed that stoats ate mainly lagomorphs, birds and invertebrates. Minor components included mice, lizards, fish and hedgehogs. Stoats ate more birds in spring than in autumn, and female stoats ate more invertebrates than did males. The contents of 219 dens collected in the same area at the same time provided further information. Birds and lagomorphs occurred at high frequency in dens, and other components were minor. Remains in dens were larger than in scats and allowed identification of many more prey items to species level. Den contents revealed a potentially substantial impact of stoats on threatened shorebirds locally; this impact was not detected by analysis of scats. © 2015 The Royal Society of New Zealand

Neate H.R.,University of Auckland | Dowding J.E.,DM Consultants | Parker K.A.,Massey University | Hauber M.E.,University of Auckland | Hauber M.E.,York College - The City University of New York
Notornis | Year: 2011

Population size and breeding success of northern New Zealand dotterels (Charadrius obscurus aquilonius) were studied on the recently mammalian predator-eradicated Motuihe Island in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. The island's entire breeding population was monitored during the austral breeding season from Nov 2007 - Feb 2008. Nine breeding pairs were identified and their breeding success recorded. A total of 41% of nesting attempts produced fledglings and 1.22 chicks fledged per pair for the season; each egg had a 38% chance of survival to fledging. The breeding success of this endemic shorebird was twice as high on Motuihe Island as that at unmanaged mainland sites, and is comparable to levels of breeding success at other managed sites with mammal trapping or predator-proof fencing. The only identified cause of nesting failure over the breeding season was avian predation. Suggestions are made to maintain and enhance breeding success at this locality. © The Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Inc.

Brodin-Sartorius A.,Necker Enfants Malades Hospital | Brodin-Sartorius A.,University of Paris Descartes | Tete M.-J.,University of Paris Descartes | Tete M.-J.,Necker Enfants Malades Hospital | And 20 more authors.
Kidney International | Year: 2012

Nephropathic cystinosis is a multisystem autosomal recessive disease caused by cystine accumulation, which is usually treated by oral cysteamine. In order to determine long-term effects of this therapy, we enrolled 86 adult patients (mean age 26.7 years) diagnosed with nephropathic cystinosis, 75 of whom received cysteamine. Therapy was initiated at a mean age of 9.9 years with a mean duration of 17.4 years. By last follow-up, 78 patients had end-stage renal disease (mean age 11.1 years), 62 had hypothyroidism (mean age 13.4), 48 developed diabetes (mean age 17.1 years), and 32 had neuromuscular disorders (mean age 23.3 years). Initiating cysteamine therapy before 5 years of age significantly decreased the incidence and delayed the onset of end-stage renal disease, and significantly delayed the onset of hypothyroidism, diabetes, and neuromuscular disorders. The development of diabetes and hypothyroidism was still significantly delayed, however, in patients in whom therapy was initiated after 5 years of age, compared with untreated patients. The life expectancy was significantly improved in cysteamine-treated versus untreated patients. Thus, cysteamine decreases and delays the onset of complications and improves life expectancy in cystinosis. Hence, cysteamine therapy should be introduced as early as possible during childhood and maintained lifelong. © 2012 International Society of Nephrology.

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