Bird and rat numbers on Little Barrier Island, New Zealand, over the period of cat eradication 1976-1980

Passerines were monitored on Little Barrier Island over 15 years (1975-89) spanning the period (1976-80) when feral cats were eradicated from the island. All birds seen and heard were recorded while walking three transects representing an altitudinal range from near sea level to approximately 550 m above sea level. Analysis of variance statistics were used to test for differences in bird numbers over time. Three species had increased on some transects, and two species had increased on some transects, but it was difficult to attribute changes in bird numbers to the one cause which we were able to study: reduced cat numbers. Examination of numbers of individuals of 14 species recorded between transects showed significant differences for some individual species, but not for all species grouped together. Four species did not show any significant differences between transects. This study demonstrates different patterns in bird distributions on Little Barrier Island which cannot be understood from these data.

Index traplines were set for Pacific rats or kiore (Rattus exulans) between 1977 and 1984, before and after cat eradication. Rat numbers fluctuated widely, and there were no significant differences that could be attributed to the changes in cat numbers.

Author Girardet, S. A. B., Veitch, C. R. and Craig, J. L.
Year 2001
Secondary title New Zealand Journal of Zoology
Volume 28
Pages 13-29
Region NZ