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Deer proof ferns

  • Subject: [ferns] Deer proof ferns
  • From: "Brian Swale" bj@caverock.net.nz
  • Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2005 00:59:27 +1300

Hello all,

As requested:

As some people will know, New Zealand originally never had any terrestrial 
mammals. There were three species of bat, and a small selection of seals, 
sea-lions etc.

The present fauna of wild mammals are 99% introduced, and include several 
species of deer which have greatly modified all habitats they have colonised, 
including most forest.. They browse most species, but generally leave alone 
Blechnum discolor, Blechnum volcanicum, Pteridium spp, other Blechnums, 
Paesia scabulera, Hypolepis spp, Dicksonia spp, filmy ferns, Gleichenia 
spp., Sticherus spp.,   and probably others that do not come to mind.

We have other introduced munchers, chief amongst which is the Australian 
brush-tailed possum. This has a magnificent pelt which is the main reason it 
was introduced. However, it has a predilection for trees of the Myrtaceae, 
and has wiped out whole forests,  especially protection forests in the West 
Coast of the South Island, through it's arboreal dining. Strangely, it is scarce 
in its homeland - but unfortunately not so here, where territorial authorities 
are trying to exterminate it. Among other things, it is a significant vector for 
TB in dairy cattle herds.

Brian

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