Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand

Coastal Dune Ecosystem Reference Database

A survey of the birds, lizards and mammals of Motunau Island, Canterbury, New Zealand, with emphasis on the effects of vegetation change on the breeding success of burrowing seabirds Technical Report

G.S. Beach, K-J. Wilson, C.A. Bannock
Journal / Source
Lincoln University Wildlife Management Report series
Publisher / Organisation
Lincoln University
Motunau Island, seabirds, ecological survey, shorebirds, vegetation change, lizards, breeding success, skinks
An ecological survey of Motunau Island was carried out between 1958 and 1962 at the time rabbits were exterminated from the island. Since then the vegetation has changed from one dominated by native plants, to one dominated by exotics. Birds, lizards and vegetation were resurveyed in 1996/97. This report describes the distribution of burrows and nests of seabirds and shore-birds breeding on Motunau Island, and records all other birds and mammals seen on or at sea close to the island. The status of lizards was "determined in the quadrat used in the previous survey. Data from the 1996/97 survey is compared with that of 1958-62. A survey of present vegetation is underway. While burrowing seabird numbers appear stable, vegetation change may be effecting the ability of the small petrels to utilise certain areas of the island resulting in distributional change of their breeding sites on the island. Sixteen of the Hoplodactylus maculatus toe-clipped during the previous survey were recovered in 1996/97. An increase in the density of both species of skinks was recorded.