Removal of introduced predators, but not artificial refuge supplementation, increases skink survival in coastal duneland

Marieke Lettink, Grant Norbury, Alison Cree, Philip Seddon, Richard Duncan, Carl Schwarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Exotic predators can have detrimental impacts on indigenous fauna. Lethal predator control is commonly used to reduce predator impacts, but is not always feasible, effective or ethical. A promising non-lethal alternative is refuge supplementation for prey. We conducted a Before–After Control–Impact (BACI) experiment over 3 years to determine the relative effects of predator removal (by exclosure fencing) and artificial refuge supplementation on survival of McCann’s skink (Oligosoma maccanni) in duneland on Kaitorete Spit (South Island, New Zealand). Skink populations on 0.0625 ha-grids were randomly assigned to four treatment groups, each replicated four times: (a) predator exclosure only; (b) artificial retreats only; (c) exclosure + artificial retreats, and (d) control (no exclosure or artificial retreats), and monitored annually by pitfall trapping. Capture–recapture analysis was used to estimate the difference in annual survival probability between pre- and post-treatment periods. On average, survival increased only at grids that received the exclosure-only treatment (effect size of 0.03 (0.017–0.043; unconditional 95% CI)). Reduction in predator abundance (by lethal predator control or predator exclusion), but not artificial refuge supplementation, is predicted to benefit McCann’s skink. Our findings add to other studies highlighting the detrimental impacts of exotic predators on indigenous prey and calls for improved means of reducing predator impacts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-77
Number of pages6
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume143
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Scincidae
refuge
predator
predators
predator control
removal
spit
trapping
pretreatment
fauna

Cite this

Lettink, Marieke ; Norbury, Grant ; Cree, Alison ; Seddon, Philip ; Duncan, Richard ; Schwarz, Carl. / Removal of introduced predators, but not artificial refuge supplementation, increases skink survival in coastal duneland. In: Biological Conservation. 2010 ; Vol. 143. pp. 72-77.
@article{df8b5452ea854aa3ad73202f42b1bf41,
title = "Removal of introduced predators, but not artificial refuge supplementation, increases skink survival in coastal duneland",
abstract = "Exotic predators can have detrimental impacts on indigenous fauna. Lethal predator control is commonly used to reduce predator impacts, but is not always feasible, effective or ethical. A promising non-lethal alternative is refuge supplementation for prey. We conducted a Before–After Control–Impact (BACI) experiment over 3 years to determine the relative effects of predator removal (by exclosure fencing) and artificial refuge supplementation on survival of McCann’s skink (Oligosoma maccanni) in duneland on Kaitorete Spit (South Island, New Zealand). Skink populations on 0.0625 ha-grids were randomly assigned to four treatment groups, each replicated four times: (a) predator exclosure only; (b) artificial retreats only; (c) exclosure + artificial retreats, and (d) control (no exclosure or artificial retreats), and monitored annually by pitfall trapping. Capture–recapture analysis was used to estimate the difference in annual survival probability between pre- and post-treatment periods. On average, survival increased only at grids that received the exclosure-only treatment (effect size of 0.03 (0.017–0.043; unconditional 95{\%} CI)). Reduction in predator abundance (by lethal predator control or predator exclusion), but not artificial refuge supplementation, is predicted to benefit McCann’s skink. Our findings add to other studies highlighting the detrimental impacts of exotic predators on indigenous prey and calls for improved means of reducing predator impacts.",
keywords = "Artificial retreats, BACI, Capture–recapture, Habitat manipulation, Oligosoma maccanni, Predator control",
author = "Marieke Lettink and Grant Norbury and Alison Cree and Philip Seddon and Richard Duncan and Carl Schwarz",
year = "2010",
doi = "10.1016/j.biocon.2009.09.004",
language = "English",
volume = "143",
pages = "72--77",
journal = "Biological Conservation",
issn = "0006-3207",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",

}

Removal of introduced predators, but not artificial refuge supplementation, increases skink survival in coastal duneland. / Lettink, Marieke; Norbury, Grant; Cree, Alison; Seddon, Philip; Duncan, Richard; Schwarz, Carl.

In: Biological Conservation, Vol. 143, 2010, p. 72-77.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Removal of introduced predators, but not artificial refuge supplementation, increases skink survival in coastal duneland

AU - Lettink, Marieke

AU - Norbury, Grant

AU - Cree, Alison

AU - Seddon, Philip

AU - Duncan, Richard

AU - Schwarz, Carl

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - Exotic predators can have detrimental impacts on indigenous fauna. Lethal predator control is commonly used to reduce predator impacts, but is not always feasible, effective or ethical. A promising non-lethal alternative is refuge supplementation for prey. We conducted a Before–After Control–Impact (BACI) experiment over 3 years to determine the relative effects of predator removal (by exclosure fencing) and artificial refuge supplementation on survival of McCann’s skink (Oligosoma maccanni) in duneland on Kaitorete Spit (South Island, New Zealand). Skink populations on 0.0625 ha-grids were randomly assigned to four treatment groups, each replicated four times: (a) predator exclosure only; (b) artificial retreats only; (c) exclosure + artificial retreats, and (d) control (no exclosure or artificial retreats), and monitored annually by pitfall trapping. Capture–recapture analysis was used to estimate the difference in annual survival probability between pre- and post-treatment periods. On average, survival increased only at grids that received the exclosure-only treatment (effect size of 0.03 (0.017–0.043; unconditional 95% CI)). Reduction in predator abundance (by lethal predator control or predator exclusion), but not artificial refuge supplementation, is predicted to benefit McCann’s skink. Our findings add to other studies highlighting the detrimental impacts of exotic predators on indigenous prey and calls for improved means of reducing predator impacts.

AB - Exotic predators can have detrimental impacts on indigenous fauna. Lethal predator control is commonly used to reduce predator impacts, but is not always feasible, effective or ethical. A promising non-lethal alternative is refuge supplementation for prey. We conducted a Before–After Control–Impact (BACI) experiment over 3 years to determine the relative effects of predator removal (by exclosure fencing) and artificial refuge supplementation on survival of McCann’s skink (Oligosoma maccanni) in duneland on Kaitorete Spit (South Island, New Zealand). Skink populations on 0.0625 ha-grids were randomly assigned to four treatment groups, each replicated four times: (a) predator exclosure only; (b) artificial retreats only; (c) exclosure + artificial retreats, and (d) control (no exclosure or artificial retreats), and monitored annually by pitfall trapping. Capture–recapture analysis was used to estimate the difference in annual survival probability between pre- and post-treatment periods. On average, survival increased only at grids that received the exclosure-only treatment (effect size of 0.03 (0.017–0.043; unconditional 95% CI)). Reduction in predator abundance (by lethal predator control or predator exclusion), but not artificial refuge supplementation, is predicted to benefit McCann’s skink. Our findings add to other studies highlighting the detrimental impacts of exotic predators on indigenous prey and calls for improved means of reducing predator impacts.

KW - Artificial retreats

KW - BACI

KW - Capture–recapture

KW - Habitat manipulation

KW - Oligosoma maccanni

KW - Predator control

U2 - 10.1016/j.biocon.2009.09.004

DO - 10.1016/j.biocon.2009.09.004

M3 - Article

VL - 143

SP - 72

EP - 77

JO - Biological Conservation

JF - Biological Conservation

SN - 0006-3207

ER -