New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1993) 17(2): 103- 106

Indexes of Density of Feral Goats in a Grassland Forest Habitat, Marlborough, New Zealand

Research Article
M. Brennan 1
H. Moller 2
J. P. Parkes 3
  1. Department of Conservation, P.O. Box 51, Renwick, Blenheim, New Zealand
  2. Department of Zoology, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand
  3. Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research, P.O. Box 31-011, Christchurch, New Zealand

Hourly kill-rates and encounter-rates for hunters of feral goats (Capra hircus) provided linear indices of goat population size in a 638 ha area of forest and grasslands in Marlborough. The goat population of about 108 animals was reduced to near zero in 105 hours of hunting effort on 11 days at a cost of about $8.20 ha-1. However, goats from the surrounding areas soon recolonised the study area as 19 were shot in 21 hr and 14 in 24 hr 10 and 13 months after the study, respectively. These kill-rates suggest the population had recovered to 30—40% of its original size after 10 months, much of which must have been the result of immigration.