Propagule size and the relative success of exotic ungulate and bird introductions to New Zealand

D.M. Forsyth, R.P. Duncan

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115 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated factors affecting the success of 14 species of ungulates introduced to New Zealand around 1851-1926. The 11 successful species had a shorter maximum life span and were introduced in greater numbers than the three unsuccessful species. Because introduction effort was confounded with other life-history traits, we examined whether independent introductions of the same species were more likely to succeed when a greater number of individuals were introduced. For the six species with introductions that both succeeded and failed, successful introductions always involved an equal or greater number of individuals than unsuccessful introductions of the same species. For all independent introductions, there was a highly significant relationship between the number of individuals introduced and introduction success. When data for ungulate and bird introductions to New Zealand were combined, a variable categorizing species as ungulate or bird was a highly significant predictor of introduction success, after variation in introduction effort was controlled. For a given number of individuals introduced, ungulates were much more likely to succeed than birds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-595
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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