Sika Deer pp 643-656 | Cite as

The Sika in New Zealand

  • D. Bruce Banwell

The first introduction of sika into New Zealand took place in 1885, but they failed to establish themselves in the open, snow-grass mountain ranges of the South Island. It appears another lot, not officially recorded, arrived around 1900, but was not released to the wild, and probably retained in one of the zoological enclosures. A gift of six animals to the New Zealand Government by the 11th Duke of Bedford in 1904 were eventually liberated in January 1905 in the Poronui area of the Kaimanawa Ranges that lie to the east of the North Island's Lake Taupo. This introduction was successful, and the herd now occupies a considerable range. It is believed the origin of these animals was of mixed genetics, involving at least two subspecies, perhaps as many as five, the number of races present at Woburn Abbey Park at the time of the presentation. Visual characteristics tend to suggest this to be the case. Once established, the herd's impact and relationship with the introduced European red deer (Cervus elaphus) in the same area has created some interesting observations and theories concerning the co-existing processes. Introduced with the view to sporting purposes, the stags of the herd have produced some outstanding sets of antlers, comparable with any sikine trophies from elsewhere in the world.


Sika Deer Malignant Catarrhal Fever Japanese Type Throat Patch Antler Velvet 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Bruce Banwell
    • 1
  1. 1.Author about deer in New Zealand, Na FiadhAshburtonNew Zealand

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