Fallow deer did not prefer either of the two main canopy species (silver beech, Nothofagus menziesii, and radiata pine, Pinus radiata), or any of the common indigenous shrubs, ferns, herbs and monocotyledons in three habitat types (beech, shrub-hardwood, and exotic forest). They did prefer all the common sub canopy tree species, and these comprised the bulk of diet in all habitats. Broadleaf (Griselinia littoralis) was the most important single food, with litterfall being its dominant source.
The diet and food preferences of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on north-eastern Stewart Island are described from the analysis of 160 samples of rumen contents collected between 1979 and 1985, and vegetation surveys in 1975 and 1976. Deer browsed all the hardwood trees, but few shrubs, ferns, or podocarps. Woody plants comprised 85.1 % (dry weight) of annual diet. Broadleaf (Griselinia littoralis; 34.6%) and supplejack (Ripogonum scandens; 18.6%) were the most important foods, all other species comprising less than 5%.
The diet of brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula Kerr) in mixed hardwood forests on a central Westland hillside is described from analysis of plant cuticle fragments and seeds in their faeces. Faeces were collected monthly for 2.25 years from animals live-trapped from low altitude forest/ pasture margins through to high altitude alpine shrublands. The diet included forest and pasture foliage, buds, and fruits of over 100 species, although most were eaten infrequently.
The diet of the North Island kokako (Callaeas cinerea wilsoni) was studied in three central North Island habitats, Pureora, Mapara, and Rotoehu, for three years. Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) diet was less intensively studied for part of the same time in Pureora and Mapara. A literature review was made of the diet of possum, red deer (Cervus elaphus), and feral goat (Capra hircus). There is considerable overlap between the diets of kokako and the three mammalian browsers; leaves and/or fruit of some species are eaten by all four, e.g.
The introduced brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is a major environmental and agricultural pest in New Zealand but little information is available on the ecology of possums in drylands, which cover c. 19% of the country. Here, we describe a temporal snapshot of the diet and feeding preferences of possums in a dryland habitat in New Zealand's South Island, as well as movement patterns and survival rates. We also briefly explore spatial patterns in capture rates. We trapped 279 possums at an average capture rate of 9 possums per 100 trap nights.