Category: "Ecology"

Seabird begins to bounce back on Little Barrier

April 19th, 2005

A year ago life for Cook’s petrel chicks on Little Barrier (Hauturu) was bleak and short lived. Now, less than a year after the operation to rid the island of rats, most chicks have survived to fly from their burrows.

Monitoring this summer has shown that 70 percent of the Cook’s petrel chicks fledged. In previous years as few as five percent survived when up to 95 percent of chicks were killed by kiore or Pacific rat, leaving the sea bird population in a downward spiral.

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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.