We examined the jaw size, age and sex distribution of 324 red deer constituting a comprehensive record of all recreational hunting kills made by a single hunter of the Tararua ranges of North Island New Zealand over a period 20 years (1976-1996). The proportion of stags shot at times other than the rut (March—April) was not significantly different to that in a sample of deer obtained by commercial helicopter hunting and did not change significantly after the first three years of hunting regardless of any effect of helicopter hunting.
Introduced common wasps (Vespula vulgaris) are widespread, abundant pests in New Zealand. They compete for food with native birds and feed on native invertebrates. We poisoned wasps annually over 4 years to see if it was possible to reduce their abundance in two 30-ha beech forest sites. Two different poisons (sodium monofluoroacetate and sulfluramid) were used, mixed with sardine catfood. There was no evidence that one poison was more effective than the other.
Earlier studies of the starling (Sturnus vulgaris) population at Belmont, Lower Hutt, New Zealand, showed that nest productivity was low compared with other populations in New Zealand and elsewhere. Therefore, we investigated possible trade-offs between offspring number and quality (as measured by body mass and composition). We also compared these measures of offspring condition with pre- and post-fledging survival. Nestling mass did not significantly differ with clutch size or brood size at any age.
The distribution and abundance of Hochstetter's frog (Leiopelma hochstetteri Fitzinger) in part of the catchment of the Motu River was assessed during two short surveys in 1981 and 1983. Specimens were found in most tributaries examined and on the banks of the main river, above extreme flood level. Crude indices of abundance were obtained by relating the numbers found to the time spent searching and number of stones and logs turned. Generally about four frogs were found per hour, but there was considerable variation in counts obtained in simultaneous searches by different observers.