Saddleback (Philesturnus carunculatus) and little spotted kiwi (Apteryx owenii) were reintroduced on the island in 1972 and 1983 respectively (McEwen, 1987., Robertson, Colbourne & Nieuwlan, 1993).
Red Mercury Island has populations of several coastal birds including the rare Pycrofts petrel (Pterodroma pycrofti) which is nationally vulnerable, allied shearwater (Puffinus assimilis), pied shag (Phalacrocorax varius) (Forgarty & Douglas, 1972) and the grey-faced petrels (Pterodroma macroptera) (Robertson et al, 1993).
Reptiles present on the island included tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus punctatus), the pacific gecko (Hoplodactylus pacificus), Sphenomorphus pseudornatus, the shore skink (Oligosoma smithi), moko skink (Oligosoma moco), suter’s skink (Oligosoma suteri) and the cooper skink (Oligosoma aeneum) (Towns, 1972) and the Whittaker skink (Cyclodina whitakeri).
The most notable invertebrate species include tusked weta (Motuweta isolata) which (originally found on middle island) were translocated to Red Mercury Island in 2000/2001 (Winks, Fowler & Ramsay, 2002). Other weta species present on the island include Hemiandrus similis, and one or more species of cave weta (Rhaphidophoridae) (Moeed & Meads, 1987). Giant centipedes may be present on the island however there have been no recent sightings (Towns & Stephens, 1997).
Red Mercury Island is in the same ecological district as Great Mercury Island and would have likely been connected a long time ago. The vegetation on Red…