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Kakapo (1 Viewer)

Fred Ruhe

Well-known member
Pia E. Lentinia, Ingrid A. Stirnemann, Dejan Stojanovicb, Trevor H. Worthy, John A. Stein, 2018

Using fossil records to inform reintroduction of the kakapo as a refugee

Biological Conservation 217 (2018) 157–165

Free pdf: https://www.researchgate.net/public...troduction_of_the_kakapo_as_a_refugee_species


Many threatened species persist only as relict populations occupying a fraction of their former distribution, in habitats which may not be optimal for supporting viable populations. Following population growth of one such species, the kakapo (Strigops habroptilus), conservation managers are faced with the challenge of identifying suitable locations for reintroduction. Areas which support habitat conditions typical of those occupied by kakapo in the past have the greatest potential to support future populations. We collated occurrences of kakapo from recent fossil records, then used MaxEnt to model the past distribution of kakapo across New Zealand, and contemporary areas suitable for reintroductions based on extant habitat and present-day climate. We validated our models against three independent data sets of the most recent relict populations. Our models suggest that kakapo once occurred in mountain beech and Hall's totara or broadleaf forests with moderate to high precipitation and milder winters. Areas predicted to be environmentally suitable for kakapo in contemporary New Zealand include the west coast of the South Island, the west and north-east of the North Island and the Southern side of Lake Taupo. Assuming that known threats of introduced predators can be managed, our study suggests that suitable kakapo habitat persists in New Zealand, and here we offer insight into locations for future population establishment. Given the finite carrying capacity of offshore islands, this is an important first step which will enable kakapo managers to prioritise focal areas and also highlights the benefits and potential pitfalls of using these modelling approaches for refugee species.




Stop Brexit!
Strigops habroptilus


Strigops habroptila

Is the emendation to feminine correct or not? The protologue has the former, IOC and IUCN have the latter - should they be asked to change back to the original?

Richard Prior

Halfway up an Alp
Thanks for posting this Fred, this research should help a lot with the sterling work already being done in New Zealand to not just save, but re- establish viable discrete populations of their native species.


laurent raty
Is the emendation to feminine correct or not?

Strigops Gray 1845 is on the Official List, where it is assigned feminine gender. (It was placed there as part of Opinion 67; its gender was fixed as part of Direction 26.)

This gender contradicts the standard provisions determining the gender of generic names in the current Code: https://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted-sites/iczn/code/includes/page.jsp?article=30&nfv=#1 A compound genus-group name ending in -ops is to be treated as masculine, regardless of its derivation or of its treatment by its author.
But in such cases, the status which the name is given in rulings and on the Official List (if any) is always to be accepted: https://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted-sites/iczn/code/includes/page.jsp?article=80&nfv=#6
80.6.2. The status of a name entered in an Official List is subject to the ruling(s) in any relevant Opinion(s), including any Official Correction of an Opinion [Art. 80.4]; all other aspects of its status derive from the normal application of the Code. [...]

Strigops habroptila, thus.

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