Failed attempts to reintroduce bellbirds ( Anthornis melanura ) to Waiheke Island, Hauraki Gulf, 1988-91
|Title||Failed attempts to reintroduce bellbirds ( Anthornis melanura ) to Waiheke Island, Hauraki Gulf, 1988-91|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2005|
|Type of Article||paper|
|Keywords||Anthornis melanura, Bellbird, Rattus, reintroduction, ship rat, translocations, Waiheke Island|
New Zealand bellbirds (Anthornis melanura) disappeared suddenly from the northern New Zealand mainland and several large northern islands in the late 19th century. During the past 75 years, several unsuccessful attempts were made to reintroduce them. Between 1988 and 1991, four translocations (111 birds) were made to Waiheke Island near Auckland, sourced from Kaingaroa (21 birds) and Cuvier Island (90 birds). The birds were conspicuous immediately after release but became progressively less visible within six months and the translocations failed. While the cause(s) of failure are unknown, predation by mammalian predators, especially ship rats (Rattus rattus) is likely to have been a critical factor. Other possible reasons for failure of bellbird translocations are discussed, along with the reasons why original bellbird populations disappeared from northern New Zealand and subsequently failed to re-establish.