Vegetation on Goat-Free Islands in a Low-Alpine Lake, Paparoa Range, and Implications for Monitoring Goat Control Operations
- Conservation Research Group, School of Forestry, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 1, New Zealand
Pronounced differences between the vegetation of four islands in a low-alpine lake compared to an adjacent mainland site are attributed to browsing by feral goats. The herbs Anisotome haastii and Ourisia macrocarpa are significantly more abundant on the islands, where they form tall herbfields. The grass Hierochloe recurvata and the shrub Gaultheria crassa were also more common on the islands, and were absent at the mainland study site. It is suggested that these species may be useful indicators for assessing the success of feral great control operations in low-alpine areas of the Paparoa Range.