New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1978) 1: 145- 152

The history and control of red deer in the takahe area, Murchison Mountains, Fiordland National Park

Research Article
J. Parkes 1
K. Tustin 1
L. Stanley 2
  1. Forest Research Institute, P.O. Box 31-011, Christchurch, New Zealand
  2. New Zealand Forest Service, Te Anau, New Zealand

Numbers of red deer (Cervus elaphus scoticus) increased steadily in this area of New Zealand from the 1930's to 1973 causing extensive damage to vegetation and competition with takahe (Notornis mantelli), a rare flightless bird. Hunting on foot and especially by helicopter reduced the red deer population by 60% between 1973 and 1975, and has nearly eliminated red deer from alpine grasslands which are the main habitat for takahe. Future management for sustained harvest of deer and acceptable competition with takahe is discussed