This is a piece of cameratrap footage collected on Table Hill in the south of Rakiura/Stewart Island of the introduced white tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) predating a southern NZ dotterel nest (Charadrius o. obscurus). The southern sub-species of the NZ dotterel is critically endangered with extinction, numbering less than 300 birds. An extensive cat and rat control programme exists to protect their nesting grounds and the population recovered well from ~60 birds in the early 90s to over 260 by the mid-2000s. However the population appears to have plateaued. Could invasive species such as the white tailed deer be playing a role in this? Hopefully our research will reveal the facts.
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