Reference Ecosystem For Arimawhai Point, Great Mercury Island

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Reference Ecosystem for Arimawhai Point, Great Mercury Island

When a company, community, trust or private land owner plan on creating a reserve on a degraded landscape they must consider using a reference ecosystem when in the process of planning how to create the reserve. A reference ecosystem is another ecosystem that has the same features as the planned ecosystem this can include temperature, average amount of rainfall, soil type/geology, vegetation type. Reference ecosystems should be ecosystems that have redeveloped after natural succession (Goebel, Wyse, & Gregory Corace III, 2005). These ecosystems do not have to be a proper site; they can also be a collection of historical records or a written description.
A portion of
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Little Barrier Island (2817ha) is a reserve located approximately 75km away from Great Mercury Island while it is not as close to Great Mercury Island as Red Mercury Island is Little Barrier Island is still in the same ecological district (McEwen, 1987) and could possibly represent a greater abundance in the diversity of species.
The terrestrial bird species currently on the island tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae), bellbird (Anthornis melanura), hihi (Notiomystis cincta), yellow crowned parakeet (Cyanoramphus auriceps), red crowned parakeet, tomtits (Petroica macrocephala), North Island robins (Petroica longipes), silvereye, kereru (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae), grey warbler (Gerygone igata) fantail and rifleman (Acanthisitta chloris) (Girardet, Veitch, & Craig, 2001). Species that have been translocated onto the island include saddleback, kokako (Callaeas wilsoni) (Girardet et al., 2001).
There are currently three coastal bird species breeding on the island the grey faced petrel, cook’s petrel (Pterodroma cookii) and the black petrel (Procellaria parkinsoni) (Girardet et al.,
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In most cases a reference ecosystem is applied to an area with disturbed/modified land (Goebel et al., 2005)
Using a reference ecosystem for a restoration project allows a person to see what species could have been present and how they functioned within the ecosystem in a period before human modification. Having another ecosystem with the same geology, rainfall, altitude etc. as a reference ensures that the species placed on the land currently in restoration are bound to survive and possibly flourish (considering there are no threats currently in place on the land) since they have already done so on a similar ecosystem. Reference ecosystems being used for restoration can also help avoid any restoration myths that may occur, such as the ‘cookbook’ myth which involves using a previous restoration projects methods to create the same outcome for your restoration

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