Journal article

When deer must die: large uncertainty surrounds changes in deer abundance achieved by helicopter- and ground-based hunting in New Zealand forests

David M Forsyth, David SL Ramsey, Clare J Veltman, Robert B Allen, Will J Allen, Richard J Barker, Chris L Jacobson, Simon J Nicol, Sarah J Richardson, Charles R Todd

Wildlife Research | CSIRO PUBLISHING | Published : 2013


Context When environmental, economic and/or social effects of wildlife are considered undesirable and need to be reduced, managers require knowledge of the effectiveness of candidate control techniques, particularly the relationship between control effort and change in abundance. Aims We evaluated the effects of control on the abundances of introduced red deer (Cervus elaphus scoticus) and sika deer (Cervus nippon) at three New Zealand forest sites (two North Island, one South Island) in an 8-year adaptive-management experiment. Methods We identified paired areas of 3600ha at each site that were as similar as possible in geology, physical environments and forest composition and applied deer ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC Investigation)

Funding Acknowledgements

This study was funded by the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC Investigation 3673). We thank P. Bellingham for contributing to the design of this project, and the following people for their contributions in the learning groups established for each site: the late B. Banwell, G. Beardmore, M. Beardsley, N. Bolton, M. Bridgeman, J. Campbell, G. Chan, M. Cleaver, S. Deihl, R. Floyd, N. Freeman, P. Gordon, B. Green, P. Green, G. Hughes, C. Hutton, A. Jackson, D. Lumley, G. Maclean, J. Mason, A. Milne, J. Morris, G. Napp, A. Paget, D. Patterson, D. Ratcliffe, J. Robertson, A. Scott, R. Scrimgeour, W. Sixtus, D. Smith, H. Stoffregen, K. White, J. Wigley, G. Winter and C. Wynn. The following Department of Conservation staff and contractors assisted with faecal pellet counts: Waihaha site: C. Annandale, J. Bauer, P. Beard, D. Bristow, C. Burgess, B. Clarke, R. Clayton, J. Corban, S. Cowie, K. Dawick, K. Dyer, P. Fredricksen, A. Hawkey, D. Herries, G. Hickman, D. Hogg, R. Jones, M. Kapa, T. Malcolm, R. Mayo, A. Meikle, M. Menzies, J. Mitchell, D. Morgan, J. Neilsen, S. Neutroski, D. Patterson, S. Roberts, D. Shore, A. Styche, G. Townsend and S. Wind; Waiotaka site: S. Ashby, R. Basher, L. Bevan, C. Bishop, B. Brewer, R. Brown, C. Bycroft, A. Couchman, K. Dyer, A. Fergus, C. Floyd, R. Fraser, P. Fredricksen, D. Gilmour, R. Guest, B. Harris, A. Hawkey, A. Jenkins, K. Kramer-Walter, C. Lim, G. Mansfeild, E. Marshall, J. McCarter, K. McCarthy, C. McKavanagh, S. McKavanagh, A. Meikle, T. Millar, T. Moody, R. Morgan, T. Payne, S. Rate, C. Roberts, M. Slimin, D. Soper, J. Steel, M. Steenhauer, M. Turner, R. Whyman, C. Wiegand and C. Wilson; Ruataniwha site: S. Aitcheson, T. Barr, M. Beardsley, N. Blehnken, D. Busbridge, G. Currall, K. Donohue, B. Fagan, R. Garside, G. Johnson, D. Kimber, R. Mitchell S. Ochsner, K. Rose, M. Scaife, S. Stevenson, M. Taylor, B. Wood, D. Wright and I. Wynn. N. Poutu (Department of Conservation) kindly supplied the Waiotaka site photograph, and M. Beardsley and K. Briden (Department of Conservation) provided commercial red deer harvest data. Comments by P. Bellingham, C. Bezar, M. Scroggie, I. Stuart, L. Lumsden, P. White and three anonymous reviewers greatly improved the manuscript.