Distribution of small mammals in five New Zealand forest habitats
Watkins, A. F. (2007). Distribution of small mammals in five New Zealand forest habitats (Thesis, Master of Science (MSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2319
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2319
This project aimed to reanalyse two large historical data sets from two different locations in New Zealand (Fiordland in the South Island and Pureora Forest Park in the North Island). The data describe populations of mice (Mus musculus), rats (Rattus rattus and R. norvegicus), and stoats (Mustela erminea) collected using standard monitoring techniques from five distinct types of forest habitat. The new analysis methods selected were an index of patchiness and Site Occupancy analysis. The objectives of the analysis were (1) to evaluate whether the patchiness index and Site Occupancy analysis methods might contribute to improved protocols for monitoring small mammal populations in the future, and (2) to use formal tests of five hypotheses to evaluate two of the assumptions made by the conventional density index often used in small mammal studies. I describe the results of the analyses for each species, including any problems encountered (such as the inability of the Site Occupancy method to analyse very sparse data sets). I also describe the results pooled from each of the two study locations and potential consequences for small mammal monitoring and control. This analysis has suggested that in most cases the density index is not a rigorous measure of small mammal populations. However, both the index of patchiness and Site Occupancy analysis provided useful, new information about these populations of rodents and stoats, despite the fact that these historical data sets were not designed for use with modern methods of analysis. Please note: some figures and tables were printed separately and added to the thesis as unnumbered pages. These can be found in the file 03Plates_and_Tables.pdf.
The University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses