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Feral goats in the Hunua Ranges targeted for control

Feral goats in the Hunua Ranges targeted for control

A number of tracks, campsites and access ways in the Hunua Ranges Regional Park will be closed between April and June for feral goat control operations by Auckland Council.

Feral goats are a significant pest threat in the Hunua Ranges and it is important to keep them under control to reduce damage to the unique biodiversity and allow native flora to mature.

All tracks will be open for recreational use on weekends and public holidays. The closures will not affect the park’s most popular walking track around the Hunua Falls. This will remain open and visitors are welcome.

Auckland Council Biosecurity Team Manager Mark Mitchel says: “The on-going control programme is reaping excellent results in keeping the goat numbers under control.

“The council’s commitment to controlling goats has allowed the regrowth of understorey plants, resulting in significantly healthier native bush with many native plant species now flourishing in the forest,” he says.

“Goat control operations are contracted to expert professional hunters, who must meet our stringent operational requirements. Hunting zones have been established and mapped out to allow for minimal disruptions to the area,” says Mark.

A number of specified tracks, campsites and roads within the Hunua Ranges Regional Park boundary will be closed from 1 April to 30 June 2014 (inclusive) to allow goat control operations within the park.

Signs will be placed at appropriate track entry points, including car parks and arrival areas, to inform visitors about the temporary closure of tracks and campsites, including restrictions on recreational hunting.

For further information on pest control operations in Hunua Ranges Regional Park and to view a map of the control area visit: http://regionalparks.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/hunuaranges

Alternatively contact Auckland Council on (09) 301 0101.

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