Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 11:50 am Post subject: Kakariki as weed seed destroyers
I do a lot of work involving offshore island research and conservation/restoration.
Mike Lee (ARC) has pointed out to me that kakariki are seed PREDATORS i.e. they destroy seeds which stops them germinating (c.f. pigeons, etc which eat them whole then crap them out to grow elsewhere).
Kakariki make a really good first introduction species to islands (e.g. Tiri back in 1970s), however a number of our islands in the Hauraki Gulf (well heck anywhere) have a HUGE number of invasive weeds which are the most common plants.
What we are thinking is, maybe if you release kakariki really early on these islands, they will go around and destroy a lot of the seeds of these plants i.e. taking part in weed control. Though they would never do it 100% they would be a useful assistant.
If this was the case, it would also bolster arguments to release kakariki on islands ASAP.
Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 11:52 am Post subject: the trial 'experiment'
What we are proposing to do at this stage is a trial where we take various seeds of these species and feed them to captive kakariki in aviaries
We will then find out
1) do they have a preference among them
2) how do they eat the plants (i.e. what parts)
3) do they leave broken seeds around the feeding station
4) what happens if we take the excrement and pot plant it - what seeds will grow?
Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 11:58 am Post subject: breeder involvement
So if you've ever wanted a chance to be involved in conservation in NZ, and use your kakariki, etc, then this is a FANTASTIC opportunity.
I can supply seeds to breeders, or better still you could go out and find your own to trial (e.g. if you don't live in Auckland, sending weeds in the post is a VERY bad idea).
At this stage it would be pretty informal, and not very scientific. You could just report back with what you found in any of the categories above. Then (as a scientist) I can just say 'we did some trials'. With more support later on, we could make it a lot more scientific and perhaps even get the results published somewhere for everyone to read about and apply!
Currently the local kakariki student researcher is also keen to get involved too (I'm just the ray guy).
Last edited by Apocrypha on Sun Dec 19, 2004 12:01 pm; edited 2 times in total
Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 12:00 pm Post subject: Food preference study / feeding records
What would be good is if people in general kept 'feeding records' - what do your kakariki eat (everything) what don't they eat? (nothing). Start playing around. Go out and collect all sorts of native stuff and exotic stuff.
What PARTS of the plant do they eat?
To see how this sort of thing can become a scientific study check out this article here!
1/What are the problem "invasive weeds" that are of immediate concern?
(for those of us who are not fluent in latin, common names also?)
2/Some of our "invasive weeds" are known to be toxic..these will have to be identified before volunteer trials are undertaken.
As support we can create in the gallery section, pictures and descriptions of the toxic and non toxic offending plants. Im sure I have an old 'weed' book here in my gardening library that was released by the ARC some yrs ago that we may be able to take pics from. _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
And I feel so dumb!!
I spent so much time laying out the blocks on the site for 'user freindly'...e.g. placing the quicksearch block on the left, so anyone can simply copy paste a word/phrase replacing "google search" for quick info or just used as a spell check
Then forgot about it
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