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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2019) 64(1): 44
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Evolutionary risks

John Purey-Cust *,1

1 Retired forester, Gore. Email:
*Corresponding author.

Abstract: Watching from the sideline now, there are two things that still puzzle me about New Zealandís plantation forest industry. One is its total dependence on one species and the other is log exports. Both in their way threaten the public view of production forestry. Only one winner? I recently read something on the evolutionary development of giant pandas. Giant pandas are bears; bears belong to the order carnivora - predominantly meat eating - yet this one, taking another path, is now an obligate herbivore with a taste only for bamboo. It is now very rare and its habitat is threatened. Extinction looms. Are we not in the same position as the giant panda? After an adult lifetime in forestry I find myself a member of an Institute of Forestry that, possibly unique in the world, devotes itself almost entirely to one species of tree.
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