Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Farm deer escapes threaten native forests

Farm deer escapes threaten native forests

Nearly half of new feral deer populations arise from farm escapes according to a 2004 study, contradicting claims made by National Party MP David Carter yesterday.

“If deer fencing is as good as David Carter claims, why do so many deer escape from farms?” Forest and Bird’s Conservation Manager Kevin Hackwell asked today.

When commenting on the Department of Conservation’s proposed deer regulations, David Carter said that a National Government will re-focus the department back to its core task of protecting New Zealand’s unique flora, fauna and endangered species.

“Preventing introduced animals such as deer from destroying native forests is crucial to protecting both the forests and the endangered species that rely on them,” Mr Hackwell said.

“This is obviously one of DOC’s core responsibilities. Forest and Bird will now be looking to see robust fencing standards for deer to reduce the current unacceptable level of farm deer escapes,” he said.

“Forest and Bird hopes that National will reconsider its stance on deer fencing regulations in light of the evidence,” he said.



A study of 109 new location records for deer in 2004 reveal that, where the means of spread is known, 48% of new population records were due to farm escapes, 44% were due to illegal releases and the remainder spread naturally (Fraser and Ferris 2004 Landcare Research). This indicates that escapes from farms are almost certainly the single biggest cause of unwanted new deer populations.

The second largest cause of new deer populations is illegal releases. Forest and Bird appreciates the commitment of the New Zealand Deer Stalkers Association to combating this problem.

While possums impact on forests by destroying tree canopies, deer harm forests by preventing regeneration. Research in Pureora Conservation Park in the late 1990s revealed that few seedlings of plant species preferred by deer, such as broadleaf, ever reached more than 5 cm in height and that forest recovery would require the control of deer to very low numbers. Monitoring of forests in the Kaweka Ranges has revealed areas where higher altitude forests have been reduced to grassland and unpalatable shrublands by deer.

Key quotes from David Carter’s media release dated 26 July 2005

“A National Government will re-focus DOC back to its core task of protecting New Zealand’s unique flora, fauna and endangered species.”

“Why would any farmer deliberately farm deer with unsatisfactory boundary fencing that allows deer to escape?”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods (is the dollar up or down?) the outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country... More>>




Submissions Summary: The People's Commission On Public Media

This Summary is a preliminary report from the People’s Commission. It brings together views and aspirations of the hundreds of people who made submissions, attended public meetings, filled out the online survey and made speeches to our Panel. More>>

Housing Plans: Protest Over Ihumatao Development

Ihumatao in Mangere, next to the airport in Auckland, holds the archaeological remains of 1000 years of food production; from when Maori first landed in the area, through to early European settler agriculture and right up until today. More>>


Negotiations: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word.. More>>


Contains Highly Colloquial Language: Your F**king Guide To Government Formation

The following message is in no way endorsed by the Electoral Commission. They are f**king done with this election. More>>

NZ Emissions Up 50% 1990-2013: Report Confirms CLimate Change Impacting NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: Inland Revenue Steps Back From Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election