Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are a threat to New Zealand’s biodiversity. Predation of frog species by feral pigs is a notable problem in other countries where pigs have been introduced. Our study aimed to determine through analysis of stomach contents if feral pigs are consuming frogs in the Waitakere Ranges, Auckland. Auckland Council contract pig hunters collected 274 feral pig stomach samples. Of these samples, 184 were screened for frog consumption via both dissecting microscope and DNA analyses.
Banana passionfruit (Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima) is a noxious vine that is invasive in forest patches in coastal regions throughout New Zealand. We investigated the dispersal mechanisms that facilitate its spread in the Marlborough Sounds. To find out which animals act as dispersers, we monitored tagged fruits in the field. Fruits were removed quickly after ripening.
While studying the population of feral goats (Capra hircus L.) on the northern tip of main Auckland Island in summer 1972-73 (Rudge and Campbell, 1975) skeletons were looked for from which to estimate natural mortality. We found only two skulls, both without horns or lower jaws, and concluded that goat bodies were eaten by feral pigs. Some pig faeces were therefore collected around Port Ross, preserved in 10% formalin, and later washed apart on a I mm sieve. Identifiable items were listed as present or absent and scored by percent frequency of occurrence.
Introduced mammalian herbivores are changing the structure and composition of New Zealand’s forest ecosystems and may modify forest succession after natural disturbances. We studied how introduced ungulates (red deer and feral pigs) and rodents (rats and house mice) affected the rate of recovery (i.e. the engineering resilience) of the forest understorey following artificial disturbance.
The study of pastures, pests (rabbits and caterpillars) and sheep productivity by Barlow (1987; New Zeal J Ecol 10: 43–55) is reviewed, updated and extended. Pasture growth was modelled as a dynamic process, though sheep and rabbit abundance were not dynamic. The model predicted that there was a parabolic relationship between sheep productivity and sheep stocking rate with the effects of rabbits being to shift the relationship lower and to the left.
Seven feral pigs (Sus scrofa), radio-tracked in relatively undisturbed rough pasture and forest near Murchison, New Zealand, for periods of 18-186 days, occupied home ranges of 28-209 ha. The immature pigs were significantly more active and had significantly larger home ranges than the adults, particularly adult females. The pigs were mainly nocturnal but they varied individually. The frequency of grazing and the rooting up of pasture and bracken (Pteridium esculentum) varied seasonally.