Dr Colin O'Donnell's DOC critique of TWC sustainable logging proposals, page 2.


3.0 Mitigation of Impacts on Foraging Versus Breeding Habitats.


The BSM largely refers to the impacts on foraging habitats of birds. However, ensuring the sustainability of roosting and breeding sites is just as important. Maintenance of foraging habitat would be meaningless without protection of a viable number of preferred nesting, roosting or breeding sites - and visa versa.

The BSM mainly refers to studies of the foraging habitat requirements of forest birds in locations and forest types outside the North Westland area. While this information will act as a guide to the impacts on wildlife,
(See comment 4) a study of the foraging preferences of birds within red beech in North Westland would improve predictions as to whether the management regimes proposed would leave sufficient foraging habitat for populations to remain viable.


4.0 Mitigation of Impacts of Logging Versus Predator Control.


A major premise of the mitigation programme being proposed by TWCL assumes that predators are the most important threat to wildlife communities (BSM, pp 66-70, p. 172; MSMP, p. 29) and by implication that harvest management is of relatively low importance.

The Department of Conservation recognises that predators (and other pests) are a major threat to forest bird communities (e.g. Rose et al. 1990; O'Donnell & Dilks 1994; O'Donnell 1995a; Elliott et al. 1996b; O'Donnell 1996a, 1996b; O'Donnell et al. 1996). Habitat preservation without predator control would not sustain populations of threatened species.

However, predator control without protection of critical roosting, breeding and foraging habitats would not sustain wildlife populations either.

(See comment 5) There are many examples of significant declines in bird species populations in forests which have been modified. Management of threatened wildlife populations requires an integrated management programme which incorporates control of pests and predators and maintenance of critical habitat. While we do now have considerable evidence that predators are one primary agent of decline, O'Donnell & Rasch (1991) show how the combined effects of (See comments 6 and 14) habitat loss, predation and

(See comment 7.) competition have led to declines in kaka. We cannot afford to be complacent about any one of these factors if the future viability of threatened species such a (sic) kaka is to be assured.

(See comment 8.) TWCL should be aware that increasing road access and the presence of edge successional habitat may increase access of predators into the areas of concern.

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