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 Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Tree selection for sap foraging by a New Zealand native parrot (kākā, Nestor meridionalis) in an urban landscape.

Kerry Charles, Wayne Linklater


The kākā (Nestor meridionalis), a New Zealand native parrot, forages for sap by removing bark from trees which leads to conflict with Wellington City residents. There is little known about tree selection for sap foraging. We sampled 282 trees across Wellington City parks and reserves in order to determine the characteristics that make trees prone to sap feeding. Sap-feeding damage was observed on 85 trees of 10 different species. Exotic tree species were significantly more likely to be damaged than native species. Using an Information-Theoretic approach to model selection and averaging, we found diameter at breast height (DBH) to be the most influential predictor of selection for tree species routinely damaged. Mean DBH of damaged trees was twice that of undamaged trees. Topographic exposure was also an influential predictor. Kākā selected larger trees at more exposed sites for sap feeding. Monitoring to identify hazardous trees should be targeted towards large exotic conifers at exposed sites. Long-term management may involve planting species that are favoured for sap feeding yet more resilient to the effects of bark damage. Mitigating urban wildlife problems is important as conflict may reduce support for wildlife conservation in cities.

MU14025  Accepted 15 May 2014
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