Kaimanawa Feral Horses and Their Environmental Impacts

Feral horses (Equus caballus L.) occupy 64 000 ha of montane- subalpine tussock grassland in the south-western Kaimanawa Mountains, an area zoned for military training. Since 1979, the population has increased at 16.7% per annum, reaching 1102 in 1990. The most extensive habitat, red tussock (Chionochloa rubra) grassland, was variably affected by horses; tussocks in restricted mesic sites were heavily grazed and mostly eliminated, but those in extensive xeric grasslands showed little impact.

Intrinsic Rate of Increase for a Brushtail Possum Population in Rata Kamahi Forest, Westland

An estimate of intrinsic rate of increase (r(m)) of a brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) population was calculated from the measured increase in possum numbers after a poisoning operation in Westland rata/kamahi forest. Our empirical estimate of r(m) (0.22—0.25) was lower than published estimates for this species (0.30, 0.34, 0.59). Consequently, the control operation was effective for longer than predicted by population models that used these published values.

Feral Goats on Raoul Island. I. Effect of Control Methods on Their Density, Distribution, and Productivity

Goats were liberated on Raoul Island early in the 19th century. Attempts to eliminate the goats commenced in 1937 and have accounted for at least 15 000 animals. Since 1972, when annual hunting expeditions began, both the number of goats and the area over which they range have steadily declined and the herd is now almost extinct. Despite these changes, the mean group size of goats in 1981-83 remained the same at 3.19, 2.74 and 3.24 respectively. On average, 19% of goats escaped each encounter with the hunters.

Enhancing nectar provision in vineyard habitats for the endemic New Zealand butterfly, Lycaena salustius

Nectar is an important factor influencing the level and persistence of butterfly populations, but particular sources of nectar may not be optimal for all species. In a farmland context, it is not always clear whether nectar sources used by butterflies are good quality species. They may be used opportunistically in the absence of true preferences, therefore possibly limiting maximal reproduction.