What research has already been done on high country grazing?

What research has already been done on high country grazing?

AgResearch, as commissioned by DEEResearch, has focussed on the breeding hind, with particular emphasis on habitat utilisation over the summer calving period. Studies were done on two properties with the following features:

Name

Haycocks Station

Whiterock Station

Location

Te Anau basin,                 Southland

Rangitata Gorge,                      South Canterbury

Summer climate

Wet

Dry

Hind stocking rate over calving

2-3/ha

≤1.5 /ha

Breeding hind mob size

>200 hinds

Paddock size

>150 ha

Topography

Highly variable

Vegetation

Extensive areas of native short- and tall-tussocks and scrub intermingled with improved pasture species

 Information on hind movements and resource use was collected by fitting GPS collars to the hinds over the calving and lactation period (October-February).

Vegetation type (pasture, tussock, or scrub) within the study paddocks was mapped before and after the hind GPS monitoring studies to detect and assess any changes in the distribution of vegetation types attributable to the presence of deer for 4 years.

This research provided the information contained in the following sections.