No native predators existed in New Zealand before humans arrived. Native birds and plants did not evolve to deal with such threats and are declining rapidly under constant attack. Predators threatening the Waipoua Forest ecosystem include…
- stoats, ferrets and weasels (also know as mustelids) – are a top predator and kill for killing’s sake.
- possums – eat birds’ eggs as well as plant foliage which can cause the plant to die.
- hedgehogs – eat birds’ eggs & native insects.
- rats – eat birds’ eggs, foliage & native insects.
- pigs – eat the endemic kauri snail. They also destroy the forest floor by digging up tree roots including kauri. Roaming wild pigs are a serious obstacle for controlling the spread of kauri dieback disease.
- domestic and wild cats and dogs – roaming cats & dogs are the number one killer of kiwi birds.
The accumulated effects of these pest animal species are causing extinctions throughout New Zealand’s fragile ecosystems. Controlling their numbers is an important aspect of our work to protect the forest and its native species.
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