Chifuyu Horikoshi

Doctor of Philosophy
Study Completed: 2017
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Non-breeding ecology of New Zealand falcon (Falco novaeseelandiae) in a pine plantation forest

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The New Zealand falcon is an endemic bird of prey that is threatened throughout much of its range. Falcon breeding biology has been studied in the past, but conservation requires an understanding of its year-round ecology. Ms Horikoshi continued a long-term study of the effects of timber management on falcons in the intensively managed Kaingaroa Forest in the North Island. She radio-tracked 36 adult falcons during the non-breeding seasons, finding that falcons preferred mature pine-stands bordering cleared-stands, and the dispersion of this habitat was positively correlated with their home-range sizes. Depredation by introduced mammals was identifiable. The risk of 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) secondary poisoning to adult falcons was low. Fidelity to breeding sites and mates was determined by nest-site suitability but unrelated to reproductive success.

Associate Professor Phil Battley
Dr Richard Seaton
Associate Professor Edward Minot
Professor John Holland