Category: "Distribution"

New Easter Island theory presented

January 23rd, 2006

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- A University of Hawaii anthropologist and colleagues are blaming rats and Dutch traders for the mysterious abandonment of Easter Island.

Nearly all Polynesians on the South Pacific island, who built hundreds of 10-ton stone statues, inexplicably vanished. Conjecture has included the natives deforested the island to transport the statues, triggering catastrophic erosion, USA Today reported. According to the theory, the remaining inhabitants then were decimated during a cannibalistic civil war in about 1650.

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ABC Catalyst

October 31st, 2005

The ABC's Catalyst program recently ran a segment on Kiore.

Contributors include Dr Lisa Matisoo-Smith and Hori Parata

"Here, written in the rats DNA, was the untold story of the Maori's last migration.

"It began on a small island in Indonesia. From there, rats were carried by the Polynesians ancestors into the Pacific.

"But then; a huge surprise. There wasn't one launching point to New Zealand, there were two; the Cook Islands and the society islands."

Transcript ...

Distribution of Kiore

March 7th, 2005

Kiore are found in nearly all habitats, but don't like living near other types of rat.

Kiore are found in nearly all habitats from urban areas to native bush including coastal regions, grasslands, wetlands. In Hawaii they are a major pest of sugar cane plantation where they use their teeth to chisel open the stems to drink the sap. In the Philipines they are found in rice paddys. They are much better climbers than Norway rats but are not good swimmers. They are found in all island groups that the Polynesian people reached, but not necessarily on all islands of each group.

They do not easily co-exist with othe species of rat, and it has been reported that they will not take bait from bait stations previously used by Norway rats

They are mainly nocturnal, but when they become overpopulated in an area become active in the late afternoon.

Kiore found in Waitutu Forest

February 21st, 2005

The Royal Society of New Zealand reports in the New Zealand Journal of Zoology that kiore were trapped in Waitutu Forest, Southland in 2002 and 2003.

This was approximately 75 km south of the closest previously known surviving population.

"Kiore may be more widespread in mainland New Zealand than presently known for reasons of misidentification or trapping when numbers are very low."