Breeding ecology of a translocated population of red-crowned kakariki (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) on Tiritiri Matangi island, New Zealand : a thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Sciences in Ecology at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand
The reproductive ecology of a translocated population of red-crowned kakariki (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) was monitored during 2004-2006, covering two breeding seasons on Tiritiri Matangi Island. Red-crowned kakariki nested in tree cavities, ground burrows and in vegetation clusters located in forest remnants, grasslands and replanted vegetation as well as in nestboxes. There was a marked difference in reproductive success between the two breeding seasons. In 2004-2005 1.4 fledglings per breeding pair were produced. In contrast. 3.4 fledglings per breeding pair were produced in 2005-2006. This increase was the result of changes in loss rate during the nesting cycle. Nest failure occurred in 57% of nests in 2004-2005 whereas only 8% of nests were affected in 2005-2006. In both breeding seasons, incubation was the main stage of losses. Clutches hatched with various degrees of asynchrony. Brood sizes ranged from one to nine nestlings. Within broods, nestlings of different hatching ranks reached similar mass at fledgling. Likewise, nestlings of different hatching ranks gained similar weight over the linear portion of the growth curve and grew wings at a similar rate. However, last hatched nestlings fledged with shorter wings. Furthermore, mortality was higher for last hatched nestlings. Sex ratios at the clutch level and at fledgling did not deviate from parity. However, at the clutch level there was a higher proportion of males in clutches laid early and middle in the breeding season. Various lines of evidence suggest that food availability has a direct effect on reproductive success of red-crowned kakariki and can exacerbate the costs of asynchronous hatching. Therefore it is a priority to investigate natural changes in food resources of the red-crowned kakariki and to assess the potential of direct management to improve the conservation of the species.