Clipped to a cable up to 30 metres above the forest floor, visitors can swing from trunk to trunk of the ancient outeniqua yellow-wood
trees, without leaving a trace of their presence.
One plant species observed to suffer severe and targeted antler rubbing is the rare and threatened Yellow-wood Acronychia oblongifolia (Peel et al.
The aim of this study was to assess Sambar antler rubbing on Yellow-wood in eight populations throughout the known range of Yellowwood in Victoria, to evaluate the impacts of Sambar antler rubbing.
A total of 49 isolated stands of Warm Temperate Rainforest were surveyed and Yellow-wood was detected in 34 (12 sites in the Mitchell River catchment, nine in the Tambo River catchment, two in the Tara Range, 10 in the Lakes Entrance/Lake Tyers area, and one at Cabbage Tree Creek).
A total of 100 Yellow-wood stems was assessed for antler rubbing in each gully, and this required assessing the 50 plants closest to two randomly generated locations within each gully.
For each Yellow-wood stem, the diameter at breast height (DBH) was recorded.
A total of 800 individual Yellow-wood stems was assessed for antler rubbing across 16 stands in eight gullies in East Gippsland.
Sambar antler-rubbed Yellow-wood stems of all sizes (including the largest tree recorded at 312 mm DBH), although the extent of antler rubbing and its impact varied depending on stem diameter (Figs.
The extent and severity of damage inflicted by Sambar antler rubbing on Yellow-wood is of serious conservation concern.
Despite the high levels of mortality that are occurring, Yellow-wood trees often re-sprout from stems below antler rubs and/or sucker from roots.