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19 August 2021 | dataset

Status of birds and rodents on Niue following cyclone Heta in January 2004

On 6 January 2004. cyclone Heta devastated much of the South Pacific island nation of Niue. Extensive damage was done to forest, particularly of the north- western sector, with many trees up-rooted and others stripped of branches and foliage. This report details our findings from a survey of Niue's birds and rodents during 3-19 September 2004 and compares these with results from a similar survey in September 1994. Five-minute bird count data, an index of conspicuousness, from three transects showed that heahea (Polynesian triller,Lalagc maculosa) were more abundant in 2004 than in 1994, but mid
(Polynesian starling, Aplonis tabuensis), kulukulu (purple-crowned fruit dove. Ptilinopus porpbyraecus) and lupe (Pacific pigeon. Ducula pacifica) had declined. The 28-64% decline in the lupe population per transect w as probably primarily as a result of hunting, rather than mortality caused by cyclone Heta.
Counts of birds seen per kilometre along three sections of road (lower, upper, inland) were also compared with September 1994 data. However, for various reasons we doubt that the results accurately reflect population numbers. The 212 kiu (Pacific golden plover. Pluvial is fulva) counted at sites accessible from main roads in September 2004 was similar to the 226 seen in September 1994. Rat trapping results (captures per 100 trap-nights) along the same three transects for December 1994 and September 2004 were not significantly different. Both kuma (Pacific rat. Rattus exulans) and ship rats (R. rattus) were
trapped, but kuma were found only in regenerating scrub, whereas ship rats were present in both scrub and forest. Recommendations for future work are made mainly in relation to the long-term conservation of lupe, a toaga (treasured) species of Niueans.

Available online

Call Number: 333.951609626 POW [EL]

ISBN/ISSN: 0-478-14067-3

Physical Description: 27 p. ; 29 cm

Data and Resource

Field Value
Publisher Department of Conservation (DOC)
Modified 15 February 2022
Release Date 19 August 2021
Source URL…
Identifier VL-29544
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location SPREP LIBRARY
Relevant Countries
License Public
[Open Data]
Author Powlesland, D.J. / Butler, D.J. / Westbrooke, I.M.
Contact Name SPREP Records and Archives Officer
Contact Email [email protected]