Response of a brush-tailed possum population to intensive trapping

Three years after a population of brush-tailed possums (Trichosurus vulpecula Kerr) in 100 ha of podocarp/mixed hardwood forest in Westland had been trapped to extinction, the study area had been recolonised and the population density was lowest in the alpine forest ( 600 m) and highest in the forest which bordered improved pasture ( 400 m). Animals dispersed upwards from this low-altitude forest and laterally into the area along the altitude gradient. Few adults entered the area, and immature (8-18 months old) males constituted the largest dispersive class. Sex-specific and age specific dispersal rates led to an unstable age structure in the post-kill population. A higher proportion of breeding females and good condition in the post-kill population favoured an accelerated recovery of the population in the area. (auths)

Author W. Q. Green and J. D. Coleman
Year 1984
Secondary title New Zealand Journal of Zoology
Volume 11
Number 3
Pages 319-328