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Thread: new Science investigations about Moa diet and their influence on the NZ Forests

  1. #1
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    new Science investigations about Moa diet and their influence on the NZ Forests

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  2. #2
    Member Boaraxa's Avatar
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    WOW what an interesting article they must be struggling for news... big tall birds eat things high little birds eat things low yep the latest science at its best .one of the more interesting things I learnt recently about the moa is the lance wood seemly the reason lance wood is shaped like it is is because of the moa..it grows straight up until it gets above browsing height before it branches out into a tree
    Spudattack, Micky Duck, MB and 1 others like this.

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    I see that emus have been turned down as total replacements for all species of moa (I have noticed that every report focuses on the fact they can't replace all of them, but mostly avoid whether they can replace some of them), but if I were suddenly flush and had a large lifestyle block of native bush, I'd probably deer fence it and stick some emus in there just to see what happened.
    Maca49, Steve123, 57jl and 1 others like this.

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    Rocket science it certainly is not.

    A friend who is a vet spent many months during her university years studying the possible effects of Moa in the NZ bush, specifically around Fiordland. Back in the 1980's she explained how this concept we have about "pristine native bush" is quite wrong and that with Moa capable of browsing at least as high as a deer (if not higher) the bush would have been similar to what it is today. Clearly deer have simply taken taken the place of Moa and if kept in balance should be no more or less detrimental to the New Zealand bush.... despite what the tree-huggers will try and tell you. For all we know this might also hold true for alpine animals like the Chamois and Tahr as well because there must have been some Moa capable of living in that environment. I bet the greenies would have kittens if somebody pointed out that we need the Chamois and Tahr to help with the propagation of alpine plants.

    Maybe we need to pay more attention to these topics and research the possibilities. That would make Ms Sage cough.
    tetawa, 57jl, Micky Duck and 3 others like this.

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    I always wondered about Moa and the carbon foot print stuff. Let's say we have x number of sheep and cattle etc. So our country's carbon calculations, are based in part on that number and their farting etc.

    Now I'm not saying that pre-human, there are as many Moa, as there are now sheep and cattle etc, but let's be generous and say half as many, so half x.

    Surely that would change our carbon calculations? Getting us back to pre industrial levels of CO2 emissions? When Moa are taken into account, maybe we should lower the goals the government types are setting?

    But I guess the argument is academic, as we'll never know if Moa farted a lot, or at all.

    Do Emus fart?
    Barefoot and ANOTHERHUNTER like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkN View Post
    I always wondered about Moa and the carbon foot print stuff......

    ....Do Emus fart?
    That parting comment made me laugh more than it should have.
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    Your head will hurt a little more when you factor in the reason that a lot of Moa and other species went extinct is partially due to habitat modification by the use of fire, and that a lot of the larger-scale burns were miles out of control and burned through thousands of hectares of bush...

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    The last bonafide Moa sighting was in the 1930's by Railway workers in the lower Buller Gorge. A smallish model around 36 inches or so from memory
    Phil_H likes this.
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    Well I know that when I eat lots of coleslaw and lettuce I fart more so given Moa only ate their "greens" they probably farted like troupers. If you're pondering that line of thinking, consider the collective emissions from those millions of buffalo that used to roam the plains of central 'Merica. No wonder they hunted them to near extinction... the locals were probably high on NOX by-products. Tip-toeing through the spring wildflowers would have been fraught with danger too I expect... although it would keep your feet warm.

    Of course the tree-huggers tend to forget about these things in their calculations... easier to use emotional arguments than look at historical facts.

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    Seems like a pretty long bow to draw, to compare Moa and deer and come to the conclusion they had a similar impact on the bush.
    They might have a similar browse height but the crucial thing when comparing the two is population density and range. Just because they may have browsed similar things and to a similar height doesn't mean the impact they have is the same.
    Im no expert but id say comparing the impact that todays extremely high deer numbers have on the bush, with a species that was hunted to EXTINCTION using primitive weapons and skills is comparing apples with oranges. For Moa as a species to be hunted to extinction there is just no way they could have been as widespread and established as deer are today.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moa Hunter View Post
    The last bonafide Moa sighting was in the 1930's by Railway workers in the lower Buller Gorge. A smallish model around 36 inches or so from memory
    But that was the same species of Moa that was reported by Paddy Freeny and Veda Lucock in the 1990's????? up in the hills of the Craigieburn Range in Canterbury.

    https://teara.govt.nz/en/video/11386...0New%20Zealand.

    Cheers
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbrebs View Post
    Seems like a pretty long bow to draw, to compare Moa and deer and come to the conclusion they had a similar impact on the bush.
    They might have a similar browse height but the crucial thing when comparing the two is population density and range. Just because they may have browsed similar things and to a similar height doesn't mean the impact they have is the same.
    Im no expert but id say comparing the impact that todays extremely high deer numbers have on the bush, with a species that was hunted to EXTINCTION using primitive weapons and skills is comparing apples with oranges. For Moa as a species to be hunted to extinction there is just no way they could have been as widespread and established as deer are today.
    I hear what you say and agree with you in the most part... deer definitely would seem to be in larger numbers these days than Moa were otherwise why would they be extinct... but do we know for sure that this was always the case? What if, 600 years ago, there were millions of Moa and the different species ranged from the coast to the tops? Maybe they all got a corona virus and were decimated by that instead, with the last few killed off by maori? Certainly nature looks after herself in that regard and balance is achieved without human intervention by disease and famine or abundance and a lack of predators. Who knows. Not me anyhow.

    The point I was making is that to some extent there has always been something to eat the forest greenery. This idea that deer are new to the country and are bad because they browse trees to a couple of metres is BS... they have just replaced a species that are now extinct.

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    Remember as well that Moa evolved before man arrived, the Haast Eagle died out at roughly the same time as humans turned up so that was likely due to competition for food and the new arrivals not taking too well to a 3m wingspan aerial killing machine zipping about.
    veitnamcam and Micky Duck like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by planenutz View Post
    I hear what you say and agree with you in the most part... deer definitely would seem to be in larger numbers these days than Moa were otherwise why would they be extinct... but do we know for sure that this was always the case? What if, 600 years ago, there were millions of Moa and the different species ranged from the coast to the tops? Maybe they all got a corona virus and were decimated by that instead, with the last few killed off by maori? Certainly nature looks after herself in that regard and balance is achieved without human intervention by disease and famine or abundance and a lack of predators. Who knows. Not me anyhow.

    The point I was making is that to some extent there has always been something to eat the forest greenery. This idea that deer are new to the country and are bad because they browse trees to a couple of metres is BS... they have just replaced a species that are now extinct.
    Yup and thats the big hole in my argument, there could have been plenty of other factors that led to Moa's extinction, Ill never know the whole story thats for sure.
    I just think it discredits hunters when they choose to jump on claims like this to try and justify the damage that deer do to the bush in NZ when left unchecked. There is definitely an equilibrium where both deer and the bush can be healthy and thrive but its probably far lower densities than the modern hunter who is used to high numbers would prefer.
    Savage1, WillB, planenutz and 2 others like this.

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    "Probably" ! ?
    Thats just another vague red herring worthless hypothesis
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