CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Wildlife Research   
Wildlife Research
Journal Banner
  Ecology, Management and Conservation in Natural and Modified Habitats
 
blank image Search
 
blank image blank image
blank image
 
  Advanced Search
   

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Board
Contacts
Content
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Notice to Authors
Submit Article
Open Access
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review an Article
Annual Referee Index
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter youtube

 

Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 40(6)

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 A G , David S. L. Ramsey A , Clare J. Veltman B , Robert B. Allen C , Will J. Allen D , Richard J. Barker E , Chris L. Jacobson F , Simon J. Nicol A , Sarah J. Richardson C and Charles R. Todd A

A Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment, 123 Brown Street, Heidelberg, Vic. 3084, Australia.
B Science and Technical Group, Department of Conservation, c/- Private Bag 11052, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand.
C Landcare Research, PO Box 40, Lincoln 7640, New Zealand.
D Learning for Sustainability, PO Box 30108, Barrington, Christchurch 8244, New Zealand.
E Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand.
F Sustainability Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore DC, Qld 4551, Australia.
G Corresponding author. Email: dave.forsyth@dse.vic.gov.au

Wildlife Research 40(6) 447-458 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WR13016
Submitted: 25 January 2013  Accepted: 27 August 2013   Published: 1 October 2013


 
PDF (1.1 MB) $25
 Supplementary Material
 Export Citation
 Print
  
Abstract

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 3600 ha at each site that were as similar as possible in geology, physical environments and forest composition and applied deer control (helicopter- and/or ground-based hunting) to a randomly selected member of each pair. The abundances of deer were monitored in each treatment and non-treatment area for up to 7 years by using faecal pellet counts on 50 randomly located transects.

Key results: The difference between deer abundances in the treatment and non-treatment areas was significantly negative at one site, significantly positive at one site and indistinguishable at the other site. Faecal pellet abundances declined with increasing helicopter-based hunting effort but did not change with increasing ground-based hunting effort. There was evidence that aerially sown 1080 baits used for possum control in two treatment areas reduced deer abundances.

Conclusions: The substantial uncertainty surrounding the relationships between deer control effort and changes in deer abundance means that managers cannot assume that the environmental, economic and/or social problems caused by deer will be alleviated with the quantum of control effort applied in the present study.

Implications: Reducing the abundances of deer in forests may require substantially more control effort than is currently believed.



References

Ariefiandy, A., Purwandana, D., Coulson, G., Forsyth, D. M., and Jessop, T. S. (2013). Using faecal counts and distance sampling to monitor the ungulate prey of the Komodo dragon. Wildlife Biology 19, 126–137.
CrossRef |

Batcheler, C. L., and Logan, P. C. (1963). Assessment of an animal-campaign in the Harper–Avoca catchment. New Zealand Forest Research Notes 27, 1–27.

Brinkman, T. J., Person, D. K., Chapin, F. S., Smith, W., and Hundertmark, K. J. (2011). Estimating abundance of sitka black-tailed deer using DNA from fecal pellets. The Journal of Wildlife Management 75, 232–242.
CrossRef |

Brooks, S. P., and Gelman, A. (1998). Alternative methods for monitoring convergence of iterative simulations. Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics 7, 434–455.

Caughley, G. (1983). ‘The Deer Wars. The Story of Deer in New Zealand.’ (Heinemann: Auckland.)

Challies, C. N. (1991). Status and future management of the wild animal recovery industry. New Zealand Forestry 36, 10–17.

Challies, C. N., and Burrows, L. (1984). Deer control and vegetation response on Stewart Island. What’s New in Forest Research 126, 1–4.

Choquenot, D., and Parkes, J. (2001). Setting thresholds for pest control: how does pest density affect resource viability? Biological Conservation 99, 29–46.
CrossRef |

Conover, M. R. (1997). Monetary and intangible valuation of deer in the United States. Wildlife Society Bulletin 25, 298–305.

Coomes, D. A., Allen, R., Forsyth, D. M., and Lee, W. G. (2003). How reversible are the impacts of introduced deer in New Zealand forests? Conservation Biology 17, 450–459.
CrossRef |

Côté, S. D., Rooney, T. P., Tremblay, J. P., Dussault, C., and Waller, D. M. (2004). Ecological impacts of deer overabundance. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 35, 113–147.
CrossRef |

Daniel, M. J. (1966). Early trials with sodium monofluoroacetate (compound 1080) for the control of introduced deer in New Zealand. Forest Research Institute, New Zealand Forest Service, Wellington. Technical Paper No. 51, pp. 1–27.

Davidson, M. M. (1979). Movement of marked sika deer (Cervus nippon) and red deer (Cervus elaphus) in central North Island, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science 9, 77–88.

Department of Conservation (2001). ‘Department of Conservation Policy Statement on Deer Control.’ Available at www.doc.govt.nz/publications/conservation/threats-and-impacts/animal-pests/policy-statement-on-deer-control/ [verified 29 April 2012].

Eason, C., Warburton, B., and Henderson, R. (2000). Toxicants used for possum control. In ‘The Brushtail Possum. Biology, Impact and Management of an Introduced Marsupial’. (Ed. T. L. Montague.) pp. 154–163. (Manaaki Whenua Press: Lincoln, New Zealand.)

Eggleston, J. E. (2002). Conflicting values regarding the management of deer and other wild ungulates in New Zealand: a case study in environmental ethics. M.Sc. Thesis, Lincoln University, Lincoln, New Zealand.

Forsyth, D. M. (2002). Identifying a deer repellent for carrot possum baits. Unpublished contract report (LC0102/058). Landcare Research, Lincoln, New Zealand.

Forsyth, D. M. (2005). ‘Protocol for Estimating Changes in the Relative Abundance of Deer in New Zealand Forests using the Faecal Pellet Index (FPI).’ Available at www.doc.govt.nz/documents/conservation/threats-and-impacts/animal-pests/fpi-protocol.pdf [verified 30 November 2012].

Forsyth, D. M., Hone, J., Parkes, J. P., Reid, G., and Stronge, D. (2003a). Feral goat control in Egmont National Park, New Zealand, and the implications for eradication. Wildlife Research 30, 437–450.
CrossRef |

Forsyth, D. M., Scroggie, M. P., and Reddiex, B. (2003b). A review of methods to estimate the density of deer. Unpublished contract report (LC0304/015). Landcare Research, Lincoln, New Zealand.

Forsyth, D. M., Barker, R. J., Morriss, G., and Scroggie, M. P. (2007). Modeling the relationship between fecal pellet indices and deer density. The Journal of Wildlife Management 71, 964–970.
CrossRef |

Forsyth, D. M., Allen, R. B., Marburg, A. E., MacKenzie, D. I., and Douglas, M. J. W. (2010a). Population dynamics and resource use of red deer following release from harvesting in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 34, 277–287.

Forsyth, D. M., Wilmshurst, J. M., Allen, R. B., and Coomes, D. A. (2010b). Impacts of introduced deer and extinct moa on New Zealand ecosystems. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 34, 48–65.

Forsyth, D. M., Thomson, C., Hartley, L., MacKenzie, D. I., Price, R., Wright, E. F., Mortimer, J., Nugent, G., Wilson, L., and Livingstone, P. (2011). Long-term changes in the relative abundances of introduced deer in New Zealand estimated from faecal pellet frequencies. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 38, 237–249.
CrossRef |

Forsyth, D. M., Gormley, A. M., Woodford, L., and Fitzgerald, T. (2012). Effects of large-scale high-severity fire on occupancy and abundances of an invasive large mammal in south-eastern Australia. Wildlife Research 39, 555–564.
CrossRef |

Fraser, K. W. (2001). ‘Introduced Wildlife in New Zealand: a Survey of General Public Views. Landcare Research Science Series 23.’ (Landcare Research: Lincoln, New Zealand.)

Fraser, K. W. (2005). Sika deer. In ‘The Handbook of New Zealand Mammals’. 2nd edn. (Ed. C. M. King.) pp. 428–436. (Oxford University Press: Melbourne.)

Frost, H. C., Storm, G. L., Batcheller, M. J., and Lovallo, M. J. (1997). White-tailed deer management at Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site. Wildlife Society Bulletin 25, 462–469.

Gelman, A. B., Meng, X. L., and Stern, H. (1996). Posterior predictive assessment of model fitness via realized discrepancies. Statistica Sinica 6, 733–807.

Georgii, B., and Schroder, W. (1983). Home range and activity patterns of male red deer (Cervus elaphus L.) in the alps. Oecologia 58, 238–248.
CrossRef |

Gill, R. M. A. (1992). A review of damage by mammals in North temperate forests: 1. deer. Forestry 65, 145–169.
CrossRef |

Hairston, N. G. (1989). ‘Ecological Experiments: Purpose, Design and Execution.’ (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK.)

Harris, L. H. (2002). ‘The Deer Menace: a History of Government Pest Control Operations 1930–1987.’ (L. H. Harris: Wellington, New Zealand.)

Hone, J. (1990). Predator-prey theory and feral pig control, with emphasis on evaluation of shooting from a helicopter. Australian Wildlife Research 17, 123–130.
CrossRef |

Hone, J. (1994). ‘Analysis of Vertebrate Pest Control.’ (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK.)

Hurst, J. M., and Allen, R. B. (2007). ‘The Recce Method for Describing New Zealand Vegetation – Field Methods.’ (Landcare Research: Lincoln, New Zealand.)

Husheer, S. W., and Robertson, A. W. (2005). High-intensity deer culling increases growth of mountain beech seedlings in New Zealand. Wildlife Research 32, 273–280.
CrossRef |

Husheer, S. W., Allen, R. B., and Robertson, A. W. (2006). Suppression of regeneration in New Zealand mountain beech forests is dependent on species of introduced deer. Biological Invasions 8, 823–834.
CrossRef |

Jacobson, C. L. (2007). Towards improving the practice of adaptive management in the New Zealand conservation context. Ph.D. Thesis, Lincoln University, Lincoln, New Zealand.

Jacobson, C., Allen, W., Veltman, C., Ramsey, D. S. L., Forsyth, D. M., Nicol, S., Todd, C., and Barker, R. (2009). Collaborative learning as part of adaptive management of forests affected by deer. In ‘Adaptive Environmental Management – a Practitioner’s Guide’. (Eds C. Allan and G. H. Stankey.) pp. 275–294. (Springer: Dordrecht, The Netherlands.)

King, C. M. (Ed.) (2005). ‘The Handbook of New Zealand Mammals.’ 2nd edn. (Oxford University Press: Melbourne.)

Loe, L. E., Mysterud, A., Veiberg, V., and Langvatn, R. (2009). Negative density-dependent emigration of males in an increasing deer population. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 276, 2581–2587.
CrossRef |

Mack, R. N., Simberloff, D., Lonsdale, W. M., Evans, H., Clout, M., and Bazzaz, F. (2000). Biotic invasions: causes, epidemiology, global consequences and control. Ecological Applications 10, 689–710.
CrossRef |

Mason, N. W. H., Peltzer, D. A., Richardson, S. J., Bellingham, P. J., and Allen, R. B. (2010). Stand development moderates effects of ungulate exclusion on foliar traits in the forests of New Zealand. Journal of Ecology 98, 1422–1433.
CrossRef |

Mayle, B. A., Peace, A. J., and Gill, R. M. A. (1999). ‘How Many Deer? A Field Guide to Estimating Deer Population Size.’ (Forestry Commission: Edinburgh.)

Morgan, D. R., and Hickling, G. (2000). Techniques used for poisoning possums. In ‘The Brushtail Possum. Biology, Impact and Management of an Introduced Marsupial’. (Ed. T. L. Montague.) pp. 143–153. (Manaaki Whenua Press: Lincoln, New Zealand.)

Morriss, G. A. (2007). Epro deer repellent for baits used in possum control: review of development and use 2001–2007. Unpublished contract report (LC0607/147). Landcare Research, Lincoln, New Zealand.

Ntzoufras, I. (2009). ‘Bayesian Modeling Using WinBUGS.’ (Wiley: New York.)

Nugent, G. (1992). Big-game, small-game, and gamebird hunting in New Zealand: hunting effort, harvest, and expenditure in 1988. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 19, 75–90.
CrossRef |

Nugent, G., and Fraser, K. W. (1993). Pests or valued resources? Conflicts in management of deer. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 20, 361–366.
CrossRef |

Nugent, G., and Fraser, K. W. (2005). Red deer. In ‘The Handbook of New Zealand Mammals’. 2nd edn. (Ed. C. M. King.) pp. 401–420. (Oxford University Press: Melbourne.)

Nugent, G., and Yockney, I. (2004). Fallow deer deaths during aerial 1080-poisoning of possums in the Blue Mountains, Otago, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 31, 185–192.
CrossRef |

Nugent, G., Parkes, J. P., and Tustin, K. G. (1987). Changes in the density and distribution of red deer and wapiti in northern Fiordland. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 10, 11–21.

Nugent, G., Fraser, K. W., Asher, G. W., and Tustin, K. G. (2001a). Advances in New Zealand mammalogy 1990–2000: Deer. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 31, 263–298.
CrossRef |

Nugent, G., Fraser, W., and Sweetapple, P. (2001b). Top down or bottom up? Comparing the impacts of introduced arboreal possums and ‘terrestrial’ ruminants on native forests in New Zealand. Biological Conservation 99, 65–79.
CrossRef |

Parkes, J. P. (1983). Control of feral goats by poisoning with compound 1080 on natural vegetation baits and by shooting. New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science 13, 266–274.

Parkes, J. P., and Murphy, E. C. (2003). Management of introduced mammals in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 30, 335–359.
CrossRef |

Parkes, J., Robley, A., Forsyth, D. M., and Choquenot, D. (2006). Adaptive management experiments in vertebrate pest control in New Zealand and Australia. Wildlife Society Bulletin 34, 229–236.
CrossRef |

Platt, J. R. (1964). Strong inference: certain systematic methods of scientific thinking may produce much more rapid progress than others. Science 146, 347–353.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Ramsey, D. S. L., Forsyth, D. M., Veltman, C. J., Nicol, S. J., Todd, C. R., Allen, R. B., Allen, W. J., Bellingham, P. J., Richardson, S. J., Jacobson, C. L., and Barker, R. J. (2012). Forest responses to deer control in a New Zealand adaptive management experiment: predictions from qualitative ecosystem models. Ecological Modelling 240, 93–104.
CrossRef |

Reddiex, B., and Forsyth, D. M. (2006). Control of pest mammals for biodiversity protection in Australia. II. Reliability of knowledge. Wildlife Research 33, 711–717.
CrossRef |

Richardson, S. J., Bellingham, P. J., and Allen, R. B. (2010). Initial vegetation conditions in study sites of the ‘Forests Affected by Deer’ project. Unpublished contract report (LC0910/082). Landcare Research, Lincoln, New Zealand.

Riney, T. (1957). The use of faeces counts in studies of several free-ranging mammals in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Science and Technology 38, 507–532.

Tanentzap, A. J., Burrows, L. E., Lee, W. G., Nugent, G., Maxwell, J. M., and Coomes, D. A. (2009). Landscape-level vegetation recovery from herbivory: progress after four decades of invasive red deer control. Journal of Applied Ecology 46, 1064–1072.
CrossRef |

Thomas, A., O’Hara, R., Ligges, U., and Sturtz, S. (2006). Making BUGS open. R News 6, 12–17.

Thompson, W. L., White, G. C., and Gowan, C. 1998. ‘Monitoring Vertebrate Populations.’ (Academic Press: San Diego, CA.)

Veblen, T. T., and Stewart, G. H. (1982). The effects of introduced wild animals on New Zealand forests. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 72, 372–397.
CrossRef |

Veltman, C. J., and Pinder, D. N. (2001). Brushtail possum mortality and ambient temperatures following aerial poisoning using 1080. The Journal of Wildlife Management 65, 476–481.
CrossRef |

Walters, C. (1986). ‘Adaptive Management of Renewable Resources.’ (McMillan: New York.)

Walters, C. J., and Holling, C. S. (1990). Large-scale management experiments and learning by doing. Ecology 71, 2060–2068.
CrossRef |

Wardle, J. A. (1984). ‘The New Zealand Beeches; Ecology, Utilisation and Management.’ (New Zealand Forest Service: Wellington, New Zealand.)

Wardle, D. A., Barker, G. M., Yeates, G. W., Bonner, K. I., and Ghani, A. (2001). Introduced browsing mammals in New Zealand natural forests: aboveground and belowground consequences. Ecological Monographs 71, 587–614.
CrossRef |

Wilson, C. J. (2003). Current and future deer management options. Report on behalf of Defra European Wildlife Division, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Exeter, UK.

Wiser, S. K., Bellingham, P. J., and Burrows, L. E. (2001). Managing biodiversity information: development of New Zealand’s national vegetation surveys databank. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 25, 1–18.


   
Subscriber Login
Username:
Password:  

 
    
Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help

CSIRO

© CSIRO 1996-2014