Morepork, native or endemic Barn owl and possible other owls here??

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
fras444
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Re: Morepork, native or endemic Barn owl and possible other owls here??

Postby fras444 » Sat May 09, 2020 4:20 pm

How old are moreporks to NZ... Are they considered endemic enough... If their genealogy is not that old... What if there was a small subspecies of small bird located in the closely similar to the aussie flora of the dry and fertile poor peninsula of northland. Morepork came along adapted to the closely similar Woodlands of Australia and wiped out that small population... then spread from there... nothing stopping that thought
fras444
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Re: Morepork, native or endemic Barn owl and possible other owls here??

Postby fras444 » Sat May 09, 2020 6:14 pm

If Moreporks naturally disbursed to the Chathams... I'm assuming that the shore plover hasn't evolved with nocturnal avian predators.. Would it be okay if it was an likelihood of an natural extinction... Or would we feel obliged to step in and control the Moreporks.

If we were to eradicate or selectively eradicate birds that we feel should not be here, that naturally turned up... would that be okay? Would we be shooting ourselves in the foot when it comes to the next future endemic species.. be it kiwi or Kaka or NZ falcon that evolves from a vagrant species blown in of the tasman?? I know that there is no link between the laughing owl and the Barn Owl... but what's not to say that our Barn Owl becomes the next laughing owl... what's not to say that it develops to predate on Kereru and the like.

I have a huge fascination with our subspecies as they are what becomes our next future endemics... But essentially the Fairy tern is a slight genetic variation of the Fairy tern in Australia... which coexists with barn owls. We should be putting resources into saving the Grey Duck which is also now fast becoming our rarest bird fast heading towards extinction
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Oscar Thomas
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Re: Morepork, native or endemic Barn owl and possible other owls here??

Postby Oscar Thomas » Sat May 09, 2020 8:04 pm

Just going to chime in here and mention Shore Plover were once widespread around the entire coastline of New Zealand (as recently as the 1870s) and would've dealt with the whole horde of nocturnal creatures we had back in the past..
The Shore Plover translocation to Motuora Island in the Hauraki Gulf in '95 failed in part due to Morepork predation yes. Did a bit more research out of curiosity and found this interesting excerpt:

A second release of up to 20 shore plover was then proposed for August 1995
following the removal of morepork from Motuora island, as the presence of
morepork was seen as the key impediment to shore plover establishing there.
The Department of Conservation began removal of morepork in June 1995, and
removed one pair before iwi requested that morepork not be removed from the
island. The Department complied with this request and no more birds were
removed. This left no time to reinstate the intensive morepork research that
was originally proposed. - https://dcon01mstr0c21wprod.azurewebsit ... sfc046.pdf
https://www.instagram.com/oscarkokako/ - NZ List (210) Erect-crested Penguin, Otago Peninsula
mccoy
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Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:01 pm

Re: Morepork, native or endemic Barn owl and possible other owls here??

Postby mccoy » Sat May 09, 2020 8:55 pm

Hello all, check the BBC news website and enter morepork in the search thing. An interesting video on Norfolk Island moreporks, raises some questions about what is a subspecies, genetic purity and when is something extinct?
Jim_j
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Re: Morepork, native or endemic Barn owl and possible other owls here??

Postby Jim_j » Sun May 10, 2020 10:01 am

Hi All

I think this topic is just getting way to wide to make meaningful comments.

The problem we've got is when we start human intervention is where do we draw the line? - Is it really up to us to say that a rat a stoat or a sparrow is any less desirable than a kakapo?
I guess my view has been that if a species/sub-species (whatever) is in trouble because of human actions - then we "owe" it to help save it - if this means controlling another species to assist in its recovery - then I accept that is the price paid.
Sort of guilt I guess for my species past actions!

The other end of the spectrum is to let nature take its course - isn't it true that something like 97% of all species that have existed are now extinct?
Every species alive today including us will face extinction.

Both view are surely valid.

Ian
Some rather unnecessary (and untrue) comments.
I always appreciate and respect your postings - as I do anyone that takes the time to make such interesting and informative observations.
Given that we seem like minded in I'm guessing 95% of our views it was rather surprising.

I "chucked" in Fairy Tern as a potential impact - as I have stated in every post this is pure conjecture in my part - the sad thing is it looks to me as if Fairy Tern might be the next "cab of the rank" in terms of local extinction - there is a great article in NZ Geographic if you haven't seen it - likely gone before a Barn Owl gets even close.

Finally I do not dislike any bird (well maybe a little wary of magpies after some unfortunate childhood encounters) - Barn Owls in particular are such an iconic striking bird.
My point was simply that anything that blows across the Tasman - be it Bush fire smoke, Myrtle rust or Barn Owls should not automatically be welcomed as a great thing for our country.

My final post on this subject.

Cheers
Jim
Noel Hyde
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Re: Morepork, native or endemic Barn owl and possible other owls here??

Postby Noel Hyde » Tue May 19, 2020 6:24 pm

From the original post, I'm not a taxonomist so I'll leave that to others to sort out. As a bird of prey specialist, I'm absolutely delighted, barn owls are making New Zealand their home and embracing their added value to our biodiversity. Just as I would be, if Black kites and Nankeen kestrels also made NZ their home. I'm also a realist, and as much as I might not like it, I know that if they became a problem around protected species, the Wildlife Act allows for their control.
Humans are funny animals, in this day and age, even Nationally Endangered, problem keas aren't exempt from destruction. The irony we very readily control natives, and in some cases endemics, yet we don't/wont even control domestic cats.
Noel

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