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Invercargill, New Zealand

Harbrow M.A.,Southland Conservancy
Science for Conservation | Year: 2011

This report reviews the literature about noise effects on recreationists and wildlife in New Zealand's natural areas. International literature on the nature of noise impacts, factors that influence them, responses to noise and key theoretical concepts are summarised. The range of methods available to measure noise and its effects are also critically discussed. The review of the New Zealand literature on noise impacts in natural areas then provides a synthesis of these studies and details the development and application of methodologies in New Zealand. The literature review indicates that monitoring of the impact of noise on recreationists in New Zealand has focussed on methodologies that are simple, affordable and easily carried out. Despite this, the development of the standard aircraft monitor (SAM) and its replication at a range of sites has enabled long-term changes to be recorded and for noise to be viewed in a national context. A number of other innovative approaches have also been applied in New Zealand, including limits of acceptable change (LAC) studies and the use of research diaries. In contrast, approaches used to address noise impacts on wildlife have not followed a standardised approach. Instead, studies have focussed on specific species at specific sites, using individualised methods. The focus has been on general disturbance rather than noise specifically, and studies have tended to examine short-term behavioural responses rather than long-term, cumulative effects. The report concludes with recommendations for future studies. © November 2011, Department of Conservation. Source

Freeman D.,Research and Development Group | Cooper S.,Research and Development Group | Funnell G.,Southland Conservancy | Neale D.,West Coast Tai Poutini Conservancy
Polar Biology | Year: 2011

Management decisions aimed at protecting biodiversity ideally should be based on biological information, but for remote and logistically difficult sites, such as are found at high latitudes, these data may be lacking. During March 2009, surveys were completed of the nearshore rocky reef communities around the Bounty and Antipodes Islands, in New Zealand's subantarctic region. Previously considered to support the same habitat types (which used physical variables as surrogates for biological communities), analysis of photoquadrats taken at both island groups showed that the rocky reef communities were significantly different, both in terms of their species composition and in terms of their potential ecological function. While Antipodes Island supported fairly typical subantarctic shallow subtidal marine communities dominated by nongeniculate coralline algae, the rocky reefs at the Bounty Islands were dominated by filter- and suspension-feeding invertebrates, in particular encrusting sponges, barnacles and mussels. The mobile invertebrate fauna associated with these communities were also significantly different between the two island groups. Contrasting geology, oceanographic conditions and nutrient input from seabird and pinniped colonies may all contribute to the observed nearshore community structures at the Bounty and Antipodes Islands. Our research provides a baseline for assessing change in the subantarctic region and highlights the importance of using biological community data where available, to inform conservation management decisions. © 2011 Springer-Verlag. Source

Holdaway R.N.,Palaecol Research Ltd | Thorneycroft J.M.,Speargrass Road | McClelland P.,Southland Conservancy | Bunce M.,Murdoch University
Notornis | Year: 2010

One significant late Holocene deposit of bird and other fossils was discovered during a brief survey of potential fossil sites on subantarctic Campbell I, New Zealand. The bones recovered included the first specimen of a Cyanoramphus parakeet from the island. Preliminary ancient DNA analysis of the parakeet bone confirmed its generic identification and may ultimately facilitate the re-introduction of a taxon that most closely resembles the genetic make-up of the extinct population. Some implications of the fossil record and value of the fossil sites are discussed. © The Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Inc. Source

Rowe L.E.,University of Otago | Currey R.J.C.,Southland Conservancy | Dawson S.M.,University of Otago | Johnson D.,Southland Conservancy
Endangered Species Research | Year: 2010

The bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus population in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand, has declined by over 34% since 1995 and is subject to potential impacts from tourism and habitat modification via freshwater discharge from a hydroelectric power station. The bottlenose dolphin population in neighbouring Dusky Sound is exposed to much lower levels of tourism and the fiord receives only natural freshwater runoff. We used dorsal fin identification photographs from both populations to compare levels of epidermal disease and laser photogrammetry to measure the dorsal fin base length of calves (<1 yr old) to assess differences in calf size and birth seasonality between the populations. Epidermal lesions were common in both populations (affecting >95% of individuals), but lesion extent was 4 times higher in Doubtful Sound. Lesion extent was higher for female dolphins than for males in Doubtful Sound, but not in Dusky Sound. In Dusky Sound calves were larger at first observation and were born over a longer period. The short calving season in Doubtful Sound may be an adaptation to localized temperature conditions. Anthropogenic impacts may contribute to the higher levels of epidermal disease in the Doubtful Sound population. The higher extent of epidermal lesions in females and the smaller size of calves in Doubtful Sound may be a factor in the low survival of calves in the population. © Inter-Research 2010. Source

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