Kate Richardson

Doctor of Philosophy, (Conservation Biology)
Study Completed: 2016
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Dispersal: The effects of phenotype and habitat selection in reintroduced populations

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Reintroduction biology is an important component of both threatened species and ecosystem restoration. In Australasia, species reintroductions are increasingly occurring to the mainland as opposed to offshore islands, where understanding dispersal and movement behaviour of reintroduced individuals is critical to reintroduction success. Ms Richardson examined the dispersal behaviour of an endangered endemic New Zealand bird, the hihi (stitchbird), following reintroduction to mainland sanctuaries. A range of phenotypic factors were found to dictate individual variation in dispersal behaviour, and Ms Richardson also highlighted effects of the external environment including social attraction. This information was then used to synthesise management recommendations to incorporate knowledge of dispersal behaviour into reintroduction and restoration planning to increase success rates.

Professor Doug Armstrong
Dr John Ewen
Professor Isabel Castro