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  Introduction    
       
  Many of New Zealand's indigenous fauna species have proved to be extremely vulnerable to the effect of introduced predators. Extinctions of over 50 endemic species have occurred during the 1000 years of human settlement in New Zealand (Davis and Malloy, 1994) as a direct or assumed result of predation, while many others are in continued decline, and without effective predator control, will also become extinct.

Continued loss of biodiversity is unacceptable. The development and implementation of reasoned and carefully planned predator control or eradication programmes is a vital tool in the suite of management techniques available to all agencies and individuals attempting to preserve New Zealand's unique biodiversity.

Predators can also have wider indirect implications for indigenous ecosystems and ecological processes beyond the impacts on their immediate prey. For example, the reduction in pigeon numbers by a predator can have long term implications for the structure and composition of the forest ecosystem, by removing or diminishing a key dispersal agent for many large-seeded tree species such as tawa, taraire, pigeonwood, karaka, kohekohe, and hinau. In many cases the extent and seriousness of such broad ecosystem alterations are not well studied or remain largely unknown.


   
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