Four New Stags Join Study, June 2010
The stags, three mature animals and one spiker, bring the total number of stags now carrying radio tracking collars to 10, of these 6 are mature and 4 are immature stags. Two animals have been shot by hunters since the program began in spring 2009.
With almost one year of the study now behind us, some initial trends are starting to emerge. All the stags stayed very close to the location they were captured until early autumn when all of the mature animals left Poronui heading for rutting territories in the beech. One stag travelled more than 13 km while another was unable to be located for several months. With the rut now over all animals have returned to Poronui.
While the initial results are interesting they pose yet more questions. Why did these mature stags leave Poronui when there were lots of hinds available without travelling? Will their behavior remain consistant from year to year? At what point will the immature stags move from the property during the rut?
As the study progresses through several years we should start to answer these and other questions. The increased sample size will help a great deal.