Introduced ungulates are an important management issue on New Zealand’s public conservation land (PCL). Ungulates are harvested by recreational and commercial hunters, with some government-funded culling. A robust monitoring system is needed to reliably report trends in occupancy and abundance, and to evaluate management effectiveness. We first describe the design and implementation of a monitoring programme enabling ungulate occupancy and relative abundances to be estimated on New Zealand’s PCL.
Recreational hunters are concerned that aerial 1080 operations in New Zealand’s forests may adversely affect deer hunting, but data are rarely gathered in a way that enables such effects to be assessed. Between 2011 and 2015, we recorded two relevant indicators of the recreational hunting experience – number of red deer (Cervus elaphus) encounters, and number of individual red deer seen – in 865 person days of quarterly surveys across seven blocks of native forest in South Westland, New Zealand.