Goat Excluder Project in the Quill National Park Year 2
The presence of feral goats (Capra hircus) can have detrimental effects to island ecosystems where native plants have evolved in the absence of these animals. Feral goats are implicated in habitat destruction and alteration of species composition on sensitive island ecosystems. In the absence of population control, goats have become the ecologically dominant species on many islands, with the results that numerous endemic or native plant species have been extirpated, or are threatened by excessive grazing. It is demonstrated that the removal of goats can lead to rapid recovery of suppressed vegetation.
Nine excluders and nine controls were established randomly in three areas of the Quill. Data is collected annually every April. The size of each excluder and control is approximately 3m2. Overall a slight difference is apparent between the Quill control and excluder sites in 2014, with more plants present in the excluder plots than in the control plots.
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