Rodent outbreaks in New Zealand

Wendy RUSCOE, Roger Pech

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


Rodent outbreaks in New Zealand are strongly driven by resource (food) availability irrespective of the ecosystem. The irregular masting by native southern beech (Nothofagus spp.) and rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum) trees causes interannual fluctuations in invasive rodents, primarily house mice (Mus musculus) and kiore (Rattus exulans) in the rare places they occur. Nonsynchronous masting of forest trees precedes increases in ship rat (R. rattus) populations in mixed forests, although these increases are more regular and less intense. In this chapter, we describe the resource drivers of these population irruptions and summarize the conservation impacts caused by the periodic irruptions of rodents in native forests.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRodent Outbreaks
Subtitle of host publicationEcology and Impacts
EditorsGrant Singleton, Steve Belmain, Peter Brown, Bill Hardy
Place of PublicationMetro Manila, Philippines
PublisherInternational Rice Research Institute
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9789712202575
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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