Long-term changes in the relative abundances of introduced deer in New Zealand estimated from faecal pellet frequencies
DM Forsyth, C Thomson, LJ Hartley, DI MacKenzie, R Price, EF Wright, JAJ Mortimer, G Nugent, L Wilson, P Livingstone
New Zealand Journal of Zoology | TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2011
Seven introduced deer taxa are present in New Zealand and there is interest in the dynamics of these populations. Estimating the abundance of deer is problematic, but faecal pellet counts (an index of abundance) have been conducted on New Zealand's public conservation land since the 1950s. We compiled faecal pellet count data from published and unpublished sources, and used the most common data type (presence-absence of pellets in plots along transects) to investigate decadal changes in the relative abundances of deer at the national, island (North and South) and Department of Conservation conservancy spatial scales. A quadratic model with different trends for each conservancy best explained..View full abstract
Awarded by New Zealand Ministry of Science and Innovation Ecosystem Resilience Outcome-Based Investment
This work was funded by the Department of Conservation's Inventory and Monitoring Programme and the New Zealand Ministry of Science and Innovation Ecosystem Resilience Outcome-Based Investment (Contract C09X0502). We thank all the people who collected and reported the data used in our analyses. Simon Whitford and Amie Sweetapple assisted with data entry. George Ledgard, Richard Ewans, Chris Brausch and Natalie Curnow collected the data at Waitutu in early 2010 that is reported here. John Parkes, Larry Burrows, George Ledgard, Shane Cross, Amy Hawcroft, Ben Reddiex, Bill Fleury and the late Phil Knightbridge kindly answered our many questions about historical surveys. Christine Bezar assisted with editing. We thank Rob Allen, Kurt Jenkins, Lindy Lumsden, Sarah Richardson, Susan Wiser, Grant Norbury and the anonymous reviewers for commenting on the manuscript.