Friday, October 29, 2010

High numbers of deer killed in poison drop

This research paper was conducted after an aerial poison operation in the Blue Mountains, in Otago, 2001.
What's interesting is the number of deer that were killed. For those that suggest "deer aren't killed in 1080 drops!", this research was conducted by Landcare Research.
20 birds were also found.
However, birds are allot harder to find dead, than deer. In one study it stated.."The mortalities of non-target birds from 1080 poisonings may be underreported because many die in their nests or roosts and are never found (Koenig and Reynolds 1987)."

It is illegal to kill deer with 1080, they are a non-target species.
As can be seen in this paper, and as is consistent with drop zones we have investigated, the non-target kill rates are higher than the target - as would be expected with a practice of dropping poison laced food from helicopters...

Landcare Research
P.O. Box 69
Lincoln 8152, New Zealand

Abstract Incidental kills of deer during aerial -1080 poisoning of brushtail possums (Trichosurus
vulpecula) using baits containing sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) causes widespread hunter
opposition to this control method. We document the deaths of a large number of fallow deer (Dama
dama) after aerial-1080 poisoning in the Blue Mountains, Otago. Three deer fitted with radio collars all
died during the poisoning. Eight randomly located "search cells" (25-57 ha) were each searched twice.
One pig (Sus scrofa), 53 deer, 58 possum, and 20 bird (three native) carcasses were found. Deercarcass
density varied widely between cells (2.2-38.6/km2), reflecting differences in deer density but
apparently also the amount of ground cover. The total number of deer killed was estimated using
Lincoln indices. More fawns were killed than larger adult deer. Comparison with historical harvest data
suggested that between two-thirds and three-quarters of the deer present had been killed. This unintended
by-kill will have reduced deer impacts on native plants and the risk of Tb spread or persistence in
deer. However, such incidental benefits may not offset the increased indirect "social" costs likely to
arise from increased hunter opposition to use of aerial-1080 poisoning....

For the full story, click here


  1. What study showed 75% of birds killed in 1080 drops died on the nest? Reference please.

    Don't know anybody that says deer aren't killed during 1080 drops - that fact is that the proportion killed varies from area to area. See the introduction of the same paper you are referring to here.

    Interesting that you haven't mentioned the next 1080 operation in the same area of the Blue Mountains in 2008 when the deer repellent was used on the baits and there was only a 10% bykill of deer - also monitored by Landcare Research.

  2. The Blueys have had a 1080 drop since the one discussed in this report too. Have you seen the results from that?

  3. Clyde - this isn't a comment, no need to post it - but the link to the Blue Mountains paper PDF isn't working it seems.

  4. typical of anonymous opening their big trap when they disagree but too gutless to sign their name. Obviously DOC,AHB or Forest & Bird
    who all hide behind their organisation and have no spine!
    Anyway I have observed a lot of the after affects of 1080 aerial operations and can state that thousands of native birds are being killed,kea's, KaKa, Kiwi, Woodhen, Moreporks, Pigeon, Tom Tits, Waxeyes, Robins, Falcon, Tui's to name a few that have been actually documented. I found 11 in fawn red deer hinds after a recent operation on a small farm adjoining the bush and guess what? The operator was made to pick them up and gid rid of them, which he did by flying into a gully on the adjoining farm ( owned by the local AHB's Rep)and dumping them in a heap to carry on secondary killing! Secondary killing , well that's another story! Don't bullshit you pro 1080 people, I deal with real documented facts not rhetoric and spin!

  5. I'm happy to post under my real name. Must be because I'm not from any of those organisations LOL.

    Interested to hear about the kiwi Lloyd, because that is one species that is consistently cited as not affected. Can you point us in the direction of the documentation of that, which you mention?

    Be interested to see the study about the birds dying on the nest too, Clyde.

  6. I'm sorry, I have not located the study that said 3/4 of birds that died from 1080 poisoning, died on the nest. I have since altered the post.

    However, it is reported in the paper SODIUM MONOFLUOROACETATE (1080) HAZARDS TO FISH, WILDLIFE, AND INVERTEBRATES:A SYNOPTIC REVIEW... that "The mortalities of non-target birds from 1080 poisonings may be under-reported because many die in their nests or roosts and are never found (Koenig and Reynolds 1987)."

    The point is - many native, and non-native birds are killed in 1080 drops, and so are many other non-target species.

    In regard to deer repellent - I find it a repulsive option. Deer repellent is simply a mechanism used to try to subdue anger and retaliation from naive hunters, in the incorrect belief that the poisoning of deer is the cause of most of the opposition to 1080 drops. NONSENSE! That's what the users of 1080 want to believe. In fact, many hunters are non-active, and quiet on the anti-1080 front.

    The majority of the opposition to 1080 drops comes from the people living around the drop zones, the people that have seen the damage being done, and from those that have had their pets, and livestock poisoned. And it's a growing number.

    Deer repellent doesn't stop the indiscriminate poisoning of other species that takes place in all aerial operations. In fact, because deer repellent contains blood, it would likely attract other species of wildlife and insects, as is often the case when alterations are made - it's called unintended consequences.

    It's worth pointing out that deer repellent is rarely used, and of all the drops we have visited, I have been in only one that has used repellent. Large numbers of deer are still killed when deer repellent is used.
    There was a case on Maori land in the Kaimanawa's. A large number of Sika Deer were killed, and the owners were very angry. I have spoken with one of the users of the land, and he found 12 deer himself. Many more were reported dead.

    Deer repellent isn't an option.
    We need to stop poisoning the ecosystems, urgently.

  7. The papers that mention that Kiwi are at risk, are referenced on the Poisoning Paradise doco.
    However, in the same paper mentioned in the response above...


    it states..."Birds from Australia or New Zealand with poor reproductive potential and poor dispersal had a high risk of nonrecovery; this group includes the 3 species of kiwi, the takahe, kakapo, bush wren, rock wren, fernbird, yellowhead, stitchbird, saddleback, kokako (which was the case with the Mapara study - the Kokako didn't start recovering until after the 1080 was replaced with trapping) and New Zealand Thrush; Spurr 1979, 1993"

  8. I have seen Poisoning Paradise a couple of times and thought I'd read most of the papers on the theoretical risk to kiwi. But Lloyd mentioned documented kiwi deaths from aerial 1080, and I'd be interested to see that too. The loss of 'iconic' species like kea and kiwi is the sort of thing that will get public attention. Can you give me links to the documentation?

    There are two issues with deer repellent, the principle and the practice and you need to keep them seperate. Practically, the stuff works. It significantly reduces deer losses. It doesn't eliminate them and there will be some instances where higher losses than expected occur. The Blue Mountains Hunter Liaison Group were confident it worked well in the 2008 Blue Mountains drops.

    Leaving aside the likelihood that its use is restricted by the fact some view it as a compromise, there are important reasons not to oppose deer repellent per se. Aerial 1080 will all but stop one day, but I suspect we may see aerial poisoning in some form continue - possibly with a new toxin. In that case, we will need an effective deer repellent at hand. The proposal to rid Stewart Island/Rakiura of possums, rats and cats is one example.

    Or, do you think we should oppose deer repellent in principle because it is a compromise with aerial 1080 use?

  9. I have yet to see a forest that shows a benefit to birdlife, through the use of 1080 poison. We (the public) are told by DoC that there is large increases in bird numbers, after aerial drops. Yet this statement contradicts what's actually happening in the forests.

    The promise of deer repellent is insulting to those of us who are battling the use of aerially applied 1080. Sure, I hate to see deer killed in this way, but it is not about the deer. It's about the overall health of the forest.

    Serious harm is being realised in our forests by the use of 1080, and to hope that it is going to go away by adding deer repellent, I believe, is being on the wrong page.

  10. No-one is pretending the deer repellent is going to stop all of the other issues with 1080.

    But it does stop some (often many) deer eating enough bait to die of 1080 poisoning. That's been demonstrated quite clearly. If 1080 is inhumane as you say, how could you not support a small change that at least stops some deer undergoing that fate?

    Surely your valiant battle for the overall health of the forest can continue as strongly as ever if deer repellent is used?

  11. Deer repellent is hardly ever used. And only on private land, and rarely, even then. We dispute that it works. Of the few drops we've heard of where it's been used, many deer still died. I believe the word "Deer Repellent" is tossed around to help convince those who are opposed to a drop, to conceded.

    1080 kills large quantities of native birds, and other wildlife. Deer repellent doesn't stop peoples pets from being poisoned, their water supplies from being poisoned, their stock from being poisoned.

    I am opposed to the use of aerially applied poison, whether it contains deer repellent or not. Cheers.

  12. Can see how the availability of an effective deer repellent presents you with a real stickler, Clyde.

    Nice deflection - but to reiterate, no-one is pretending that the deer repellent addresses natives or pets being poisoned etc. So try to focus on deer, just for a bit.

    The deer repellent works. Check the research, as well as "what you've heard"

    For you to put a 'naive' label on hunters who would like to see more deer on the ground after a 1080 drop - that seems insulting to me. That's not naivety, that's realistic and honest.

    For you to say how much you hate to think of deer dying of 1080 poisoning, but not support something that will reduce that? that's just cynical. especially as you will continue to use gory dead deer photos, cuddle up to SAFE and use the animal welfare issue to push your agenda. yuck.

    even if you don't think the repellent works - did you ever stop to think that if it came into routine use, it would substantially increase the per ha cost of aerial baiting? now what would that do for the vs ground control cost argument?

    tricksy indeed.

  13. Many hunters are naive, when it comes to 1080. We even hear hunters say 1080 doesn't kill deer! How do you come to that conclusion, we ask? DoC told us, they reply.

    Deer repellent is rarely used on public land. Usually, on private land. The owners of private property have the right to use aerial poison if they wish to - whether they are mis-informed or not. They also can refuse to have the poison on their property, and not poison the deer to death, if they choose to.

    Deer repellent is avoided by DoC and AHB, in poisoning operations on public land. So, in effect, private property owners just have to refuse a drop if they don't want to poison deer.

    The reality is much worse in the field, than my few photos. If it was possible to drop the trees, as the drop takes place, so we could SEE what really goes on, and to the real extent that it goes on, then this country would be boycotted overnight. But we can't demonstrate the truth, because it is hidden by the walls of the forests.
    I have seen too much carnage from 1080 drops to ignore it.

    I do not cuddle up to SAFE, I congratulate them for their stance, that's all. Their position on 1080 came out of the blue, but is the correct stance.

    I don't like to see deer suffer, but that's not the only reason I'm opposed to 1080. There's many reasons. I am opposed to the use of 1080 for wildlife management, whether it contains deer repellent, or not. That's where I stand. Cheers.

  14. "Many hunters are naive"? The haste with which you disparage or assume bad faith on the part of, those who disagree with you suggests a certain defensiveness, Clyde.

    Deer repellent is not limited to private land - the Blue Mountains and Waianakarua are 2 examples I'm familiar with first hand, and I'd thought you were aware of them too. The key hold-up to its wider use is anti-1080 opposition. We could see it used much more widely but that would first require compromise by those opposed, (as happened at Wainak). A Catch-22 you might say.

    I think you're right that many hunters dont share the same views as you, but I dont agree with your reasons as to why.

  15. Perhaps I should have used the words under-informed. However, the public should be able to believe what their DoC tell them, but that's not the cases. This paper will give you an un-bias insight into the methodology of our DoC, and why it is naive to believe everything they tell us.
    We were naive too, in regard to believing what DoC told us, before working on the 1080 issue.

    I believe 1080 should not be used in forests at all. There is too much damage being done, and too many non-target species suffering and being killed, unnecessarily.

  16. Is it possible people actually disagree with you in good faith too, Clyde?

    I've read the Whiting - Okeefe's paper a few times, and most of the papers they reference. Do you know if it has ever been submitted for peer-review?

    A useful review of Deer Repellent here:

  17. Not a post! - the link to the paper still doesn't work. Cheers, Aaron

  18. Clyde - is it possible for people to disagree with you in good faith, rather than being under-informed or naive?

    I've read the Whiting - O'Keefes' submission several times, and most if not all the papers they reference. Do you know if their paper has been submitted for peer-review?

    From your last comment - are you opposed to ground laid 1080 as well?

  19. Certainly I know people disagree with me, and certainly I'm wrong on many things - just, not this one.

    We've seen too much evidence of harm, to be fooled by the propaganda that is broadcast on a weekly basis.

    I just received a phone message today, from a lady that lives around Mt Taranaki, which has had at least 3 aerial drops over the last 20 years.
    She stated that the bird life is non-existent, now. She also stated that there is a fugus, or disease on the trees up there, that perhaps is a result of the poisoning operations??? There are few possums, even before this years drop.

    Hearsay and speculation? Yes. But these testimonies are becoming more and more common from people living around the drop zones. Credible people. Honest New Zealanders.
    They cant be ignored forever. It is possible to see the evidence ourselves, by spending a day and going into the centre of the drop zones, and opening our ears and eyes. Take your bird book too, so you can remember what species you're missing out on, that once exisited there, pre-poisoning.

    The Whiting-Okeefe's paper would need to be peer-reviewed overseas. I'm not sure if it has been submitted for peer-reviewing.

    I am opposed to toxins that cause secondary poisoning. Cheers.

  20. Hi Clyde

    I've spent quite a bit of time in areas that have been aerially poisoned and completely disagree with most of what you say. I don't have any problem finding live birds after 1080 drops. The only dead ones I have personally found have been blackbirds which don't concern me - there is certainly no shortage of them around the countryside.

    The Whiting-Okeefe's so called paper is a fine example of the antis cherry picking data which suits their agenda.

    Secondary poisoning is a very useful method to kill stoats as has been well documented.

  21. You dont have even a shadow of doubt, Clyde? ;-) If your conviction really was justified you wouldn't need the hearsay and speculation, as you call it. Do you think it is possible for people who support or at least accept aerial 1080 to be honest and credible too?

    Given the potential significance of the Whiting - O'Keefes' paper it would be worth getting it peer-reviewed and published I'd imagine. Plenty of offshore Journals that might be interested, surely?

    I suspect you'd find fewer people agree with your opposition to ground use of 1080 - including NZDA branches. 1080 in bait-bags was used on Stewart Island with the local DA's approval for example.

  22. 1080 should not be used on Stewart Island, or anywhere else.
    There are Morepork and Weka (predators and carrion feeders) on Stewart Island, and no doubt other at-risk species, and they should not be put at risk through irresponsible choice of poison.

    If poisons are going to be used, they should be poisons that do not cause secondary poisoning.

    Why is Eason currently working on replacing 1080, including use in bait-stations and bags, with Sodium Nitrate? Because 1080, even in bags or bait-stations is inhumane, and causes non-target bi-kill. Cheers.

  23. Aaron, I'm only dubious of the peer review process in NZ because of some of the poor quality papers that have been peer reviewed, and then endorsed. Then, on the other side of the coin, papers that disagree with the use of 1080 are, it seems, automatically disregarded, or ignored.

    If a peer reviewer has been supporting 1080 for years, do you believe he is going to endorse something that contradicts his previous stance?

    Peer reviewing on papers regarding 1080 use needs to be done off-shore, and independently of those that have endorsed an opposite point of view. That's how I see it, anyway.

  24. lol. the conspiracy theory surfaces again.

    Clyde - do you have any idea of how many peer reviewers, from different countries and science disciplines, are involved in review of manuscripts across different journals?

    do you believe every. single. one. of these people, across at least three decades of published reasearch is in on the pro-1080 payroll?

    possibly you've let those patronising Wailing&gnashing'o'teeth types convince you that NZ science is crap compared to anywhere else. How unpatriotic.

    from my experience, NZ born and bred scientists have far more committment to the NZ ecology and protection of such (and get paid far less in their working careers) than any review only-specialist, superannunuated US import ever could.

    As you've no doubt learned, just cos someone claims the title 'Dr' doesn't make them right.

  25. You may have missed my question Clyde - do you think it is possible for people who support or at least accept aerial 1080 to be honest and credible too?

  26. I believe It's unpatriotic to be aerially poisoning our wildlife, environment, waterways and people.
    The science supporting 1080 is like trying to say water doesn't run downhill.

    I didn't say science is crap compared to anywhere else. It can be crap anywhere, depending on who's paying for it, and what the desired outcome is.
    I don't know about other science, it may well be of a high quality. However, I believe that when the truth about 1080 is revealed, it will damage some of the science community because much of it is based on assumptions, desires and guesses - and not facts.

    The fact is, aerial 1080 poisoning isn't working. It's overwhelmingly failing. The proof is in the field, not on paper produced for a pre-determined agenda, or political purpose.
    That's the way it appears to me. Cheers.

  27. Yes, absolutely.
    I would expect most people that support 1080, or accept aerial 1080 would be honest, and vice-versa.
    Many people have been mis-led, that's all.

    On a weekly basis, the public of New Zealand are bombarded with propaganda, and lies, in regard to how much damage is being done in the forests by possums, and how 1080 is healing the forests.

    It's easy to get sucked in, when you don't have the time, or experience to interpret the true effects of what's happening in the bush.
    You just want to believe what the officials are saying. Probably most of the officials believe what they're saying.
    It's grossly exaggerated, that's the problem.

  28. So if someone accepts aerial 1080, then they must be misled or sucked in?

    What's your evidence that poor quality papers have been peer-reviewed and endorsed? It's hardly fair to say papers that disagree with 1080 are disregarded and ignored when it is straight-forward to find such papers and comments. For example, the losses of robins at Pureora was openly published, and Landcare have published work showing that in the right circumstances ground control is more efficient than aerial. You yourself cite concerns and criticisms of 1080 and how it is used from the very papers and authors you disparage.

  29. My dad worked as a scientist for more than 30 years and said when he retired that he's sad that science is no longer done in areas where it needs to be done, and is instead done when there's someone willing to pay for it. We end up with a whole load of scientific literature that's paid for by the government and used to support the status quo (aerial 1080 poison drops). Is anyone going to be encouraged to do research on something like 'possums as seed dispersers'? No, because the status quo has worked hard to portray the possum as evil and public enemy number one. Will it bring funding and prestige to their institution? No. Will it possibly affect their ability to attract funds for future research? Yes. Kathy

  30. There has been some work on possums as seed dispersers:

  31. yep, ironic innit Kathy?
    the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
    just imagine if a vocal and sensationalist anti-1080 campaign prompted more and more research, on top of decades of such researc, into the effects of 1080.

    at the expense of more worthwhile research questions.

  32. Stewart Island is an interesting case. From what I've been told it was a mutually agreed solution to use ground-laid 1080 (in bait bags I think). Some very experienced hunters involved in that process too, FWIW.

    The work on alternative toxins is trying to find different tools, so there are more options, and to continually improve. 1080 has drawbacks as we all know, that in and of itself doesn't mean it is no good if outweighed by its advantages. We moved on to .243s and .308s and .270s because they were better, not because the .303 wasn't working. :)

  33. Unfortunately, I missed the the comment on the 11th of November, above.

    Anonymous says that 1080 is good at killing stoats, through secondary poisoning. However, in Mapara, 1080 was dropped 3 years in a row, and no change in stoat population was observed. That's why they switched to trapping, which then helped the population of Kokako to recover.

    This study seems to support that observation as well...

    Tissue fluoroacetate residues in prairie dogs dosed with low-level sodium monofluoroacetate.
    Hugghins EJ, Casper HH, Ward CD.

    South Dakota State University, Biology Department, Brookings 57007.
    A total of 83 black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) from South Dakota were subjected to low-level treatment with sodium monofluoroacetate (Compound 1080) in the laboratory (0.01-0.30 mg 1080/kg). The acute oral median lethal dose (LD50) of 1080 administered by oral gavage was established at 0.173 mg/kg. To assay fluoroacetate residues, 8 kinds of tissue from each of 10 prairie dogs dead of low-level 1080 poisoning were analyzed by capillary gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Of the total of 79 tissues analyzed, 73 contained less than 100 ppb fluoroacetate, and 67 contained less than 50 ppb fluoroacetate. To test the effect of secondary poisoning on non-target species, 8 European ferrets (Mustela furo) were fed ground whole carcasses of prairie dogs dead of low-level 1080 poisoning, with no observable ill effects on the ferrets.

  34. Mapara sounds interesting, and what you cite there certainly contradicts other statements. Do you have a reference I can follow up? Ta

  35. Hi Aaron. The link to the Mapara study is mentioned in Poisoning Paradise. The study is also summarised in the doco. Cheers.

  36. Whats the issue? I'm a keen hunter but I'm also bloody happy to see 1080 kill deer, they're a pest. I've seen the DvD's and just can't understand what all the fuss is about. The forests are in peril, there's no question about it. The evidence of possum, deer, mustelid destruction is everywhere. If we don't do something drastic it's game over for the birds. Even if some die as you say, although I'm not convinced, then that's the price we have to pay.

  37. Hi Matt. The first issue is - 1080 is a cruel killer. That's indisputable.

    The second issue is - 1080 is killing our forests, bird life, and insect life - that's a fact.

    I'm about to post a new research paper that proves , scientifically, that 1080 is doing more harm than good, and that DoC research is as bad as we have always stated. Cheers.

  38. By the way, there is no evidence of deer and possum damage. They don't cause long term damage to forests in their current populations. And in their past populations, when they were at least 10 times higher in numbers than now, there is no evidence of harm to forests. There may be some species shift, but in general, the forests can cope with browsers. They eat leaves and fruit, but they also help the seed-rain of the forests.

    The mustelids are a threat, I'd agree with that.
    Let's focus on targeting the pest, and not the ecosystem.

  39. "there is no evidence of deer and possum damage"

    Oh come on, Clyde. This is simply not true in relation to deer. Show me a single paper that proves deer NEVER cause any long term 'damage' at current densities.

    There is evidence to the contrary. For just one example: Forsyth DM, Coomes DA, Nugent G 2003. Framework for assessing the susceptibility of management areas to deer impacts. Science for Conservation 213. Wellington, Department of Conservation.

    Hunters need to acknowledge the effects deer CAN have.

  40. Hi Aaron. We've had decades of experience with wild deer - starting in the early 60's, with the old man, when deer densities were high.

    We visit the same areas, and although when densities were high there was evidence of browsing (which wasn't a bad thing), there is no sign of long term damage, now that populations have stabilised. Populations now are only a 10th of what they were in the 60's.

    The same goes for possums.

    When moa were roaming the land, they were aggressive browsers. Deer browse is considered light, by comparison. (Please consider reading The Third Wave - Bill Benfield)

    The trouble we have in New Zealand is, the researchers certainly appear to be designing studies that result in pre-determined outcomes. Funded junk, basically. The results are certainly unreliable.

    I'm posting some new studies this week, that just adds to the growing evidence that the use of 1080 in NZ, and the phobias that help sustain its use, are based on shoddy science, ignorance, incompetence, and more than likely, bureaucratic interference.

  41. "there is no sign of long term damage, now that populations have stabilised"

    Sorry Clyde, that's an interesting anecdote but that is not research. Can you show me any research? I've shown you some that counters your claim :)

    "When moa were roaming the land, they were aggressive browsers. Deer browse is considered light, by comparison. (Please consider reading The Third Wave - Bill Benfield)"

    I've read it several times and it is, to put it mildly, very inaccurate. The statement you make here is simply wrong.

    He uses outdated overinflated estimates of moa density and incorrect amounts for intake, to make a gross error. Anyone familiar with the research on moa could see that.

    What is worse, he focuses only on quantity, and ignores the qualitative differences between the diets of ratites and ungulates. A very poor effort.

    "the researchers certainly appear to be designing studies that result in pre-determined outcomes. Funded junk, basically"

    In other words, the researchers are commiting fraud. How about you publically name a scientist who is commiting fraud then? Should be easy :)

    How about that paper I linked to before? Is Dr David Forsyth commiting fraud?

  42. How old are you, Aaron? 200, 400 years old? You seem to speak with the authority of someone that lived when the moa did. Benfield quotes researchers. Maybe he's right, maybe you're right, but our findings are not merely anecdote. We know much funded 1080 research is unreliable. 50 years of observation is far better than "science" funded to deliver predetermined results.

    Not sure about fraud - but if it's not gross incompetence, or ignorance and poor ability, it's probably corruption that's driving the 1080 scientific industry in New Zealand.

    I'd like to think that the overall scientific community in New Zealand is more capable than the standard of research delivered to support the 1080 industry.

    When we have an international review completed and it is found that there are serious problems with the "science" that supports 1080, I certainly hope that it is corruption that's driving the industry, and not incompetence - given the number of overseas students that actually have been lead to believe that our universities are of an excellent, international standard.

  43. "How old are you, Aaron? 200, 400 years old? You seem to speak with the authority of someone that lived when the moa did."

    Ha ha! Pretty sure you weren't alive during WWII but you seem to be an authority on Nazism. LOL

    You sound defensive Clyde. Pretty sure the researchers Benfield cites weren't alive at the time of the moa either but you don't seem to hold that against them. Why not?

    It's peer reviewed research that estimates moa density, and some was carried out by Holdaway - coincidentally Benfield cites Holdaway repeatedly so he seems to find him a credible source :)

    You are also ignoring the qualitative differences in diet, and we can easily determine those - you should read up on some of the coprolite studies.

    "We know much funded 1080 research is unreliable. 50 years of observation is far better than "science" funded to deliver predetermined results."

    We're not talking about 1080 Clyde, stop trying to deflect. 50 years observation is still anecdote, and it is also not long enough given the length of time some of the forest species we are talking about can live - broadleaf for example.

    If you could one day read that paper I cited you'd see that although there is still a significant basal area per hectare of broadleaf in all the forest types monitored, where deer are present seedlings are absent. In another 50 years, how much broadleaf will be present in that case?

    I think you are overlooking some basic ecology here too - 'damage' is a human term. The forest will endure in some form or another. But what of its ability to sustain deer, that we value as a resource?

    There is good evidence that deer can damage the ability of our forests to sustain healthy populations of them. Thane Riney's Lake Monk expedition showed that - the deer were rats, poor condition for meat or trophies.

    "Not sure about fraud - but if it's not gross incompetence, or ignorance and poor ability, it's probably corruption that's driving the 1080 scientific industry in New Zealand."

    We're not talking about 1080, Clyde.

    Talk is cheap - is the research into the effects of deer on our forest fraudulent and corrupt, or not?

  44. In regard to deer, and some other introduced species - you may get species shift in plants and trees, but there's still plenty of broadleaf in the forests we frequent, where the deer have roamed for generations. These animals also contribute to the seed rain.

    A single snow fall can do far more damage to trees in a few days, than any introduced mammals do in a year of browsing. That we've witnessed too - even if it is anecdotal.

  45. Mature broadleaf basal area is different to seedling recruitment Clyde. 'Damage' to extant trees is largely immaterial, the most important issue is regeneration.

    Think longer term, and think about the forest as habitat for deer. Don't think about it solely as a collection of plants (that's what Cockayne did, surprised to see you doing the same).

    What about the impact of deer on macrofauna in the leaf litter?

  46. Deer are in low numbers in much of our forests, so this is not even an issue.

    Try to see a deer, in public land forests, and you'll realise how they have no impact on flora at current populations.

    The seedlings in the forests are prolific. Deer are in such low numbers, they have no hope of covering the entire forests.

    1080 is having the impact on microfauna, not deer.

  47. "The seedlings in the forests are prolific. Deer are in such low numbers, they have no hope of covering the entire forests."

    Show me your evidence, Clyde - what you claim is not what is measured. And which species are you talking about? Plenty of seedlings recorded for avoided species such as Psuedowintera (horopito/pepperwood), very few for preferred species such as broadleaf.

    "1080 is having the impact on microfauna, not deer."

    How do you explain then the significantly lower levels of litter-dwelling macrofauna outside compared with inside ungulate exclosures?

  48. From our observations, in the Kaimanawa and the Urewera, the growth is better on the outside of the exclosures.

    In most forests it's difficult to find a deer mark, let alone a deer. You can hardly blame deer for lack of litter dwelling macrofauna, if that's a problem, surely?

    The healthiest forests in NZ are the forests that have no 1080. They have a full spectrum of wildlife, including "pest" species.
    We can show you the evidence, no problem. We can visit the forest with 1080 and without life, and we can visit the forest without 1080 and with life. The evidence is in the field, not on paper.

  49. Looks like my reply went missing? Why do you keep bringing up 1080 - we're not talking about that.

    There is lots of regen going on most places, especially where we get a canopy gap. But what species? Nearly always the avoided species.

    "You can hardly blame deer for lack of litter dwelling macrofauna, if that's a problem, surely?"

    Significantly lower numbers outside ungulate exclosures than inside. What else could be causing it?