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Puaiohi Nest box-photo by Mark Wiley
PUAIOHI NEST BOXES
Early researchers hypothesized that nesting sites for Puaiohi, which nest in shallow crevices in cliff walls, might limit their distribution. In an attempt to expand their range and population size, researchers developed and installed nest boxes in low density areas of Puaiohi. Later efforts by Dr. Eric Vanderwerf focused on developing and distributing rat-proof nest boxes in the same areas. Unfortunately, for almost 10 years Puaiohi did not use the boxes, and we were thinking of giving up the effort when suddenly, two pairs used two different designs in spring 2011!
Since neither of those models were rat proof, we tested and designed new boxes in winter 2012 and 2013 and found that modifying roofs and skirts on our previous designs greatly reduced accessibility by rats. In spring 2012 and 2013 we installed over 50 new rat resistant boxes to Kawaikoi and Mohihi streams, with funding from the American Bird Conservancy. Currently we are assessing microclimates of natural Puaiohi nest cavities and trying to modify nest boxes to mimic these microclimates so that they more attractive to Puaiohi. In 2013 we also designed and implemented in-box sensors funded by DuPont Pioneer that track visitations of animals to nest boxes. Relevant presentations can be seen in the Reports and Publications section.