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International Journal of Ecology
Volume 2010, Article ID 829702, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/829702
Research Article

Home Range and Habitat Use of the New Zealand Falcon (Falco novaeseelandiae) within a Plantation Forest: A Satellite Tracking Study

Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Received 21 April 2010; Accepted 29 June 2010

Academic Editor: Bruce Leopold

Copyright © 2010 Bindi Thomas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

We tracked two adult and three juvenile New Zealand falcons (Falco novaeseelandiae) in Kaingaroa Forest pine plantation from 2002 to 2008 using Argos satellite technology. The home ranges for both adults and juveniles varied, ranging between 44 and 587 km2. The falcons occasionally utilised areas outside the forest and used stands of all ages within the forest, generally in proportion to their availability. For the most part, the juveniles remained within ca. 8 km of their nests and dispersed at 58, 69, and 68 days after fledging. Falcon movement information was obtained from an average of four location points per tracking day per falcon at a putative accuracy of 350 m. The transmitters, including their solar charge capability, performed well in the forest environment. The use of all stand ages highlights the importance of forestry practises that maintain a mosaic of different aged pine stands.