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Stop Daydreaming, Forest & Bird

11 December 2003

PR 257/03

Stop Daydreaming, Forest & Bird

Wild inaccuracies raise questions about the Royal Forest and Bird Society's credibility, says Donald Aubrey, Vice Chairman of the South Island High Country Section of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

Mr Aubrey was responding to a statement issued by Forest & Bird following a meeting of the Tahr Liaison Group in Christchurch earlier this week.

"Contrary to Forest & Bird's grossly distorted statement, Tahr numbers are not out of control.

"At the meeting the Department of Conservation detailed the control measures undertaken voluntarily by lessees in the areas quoted in the Forest & Bird statement. The department's information included the numbers killed (160 on one property alone) and that the department was satisfied with the measures taken," he said.

Forest & Bird claimed that "Recent population estimates by the Department of Conservation (DoC) put Thar (sic) numbers on some pastoral leases at over twice the acceptable density." The statement also said that "Thar (sic) damage sensitive high country vegetation through browsing and trampling."

"On the contrary, Mike Reedy, the DoC staff member who chaired the meeting, informed those present, including Forest and Bird, that initial vegetation studies commissioned by DoC show that 'tussock grasslands are alive and well' within the Tahr habitat. This also applied to biodiversity generally," Mr Aubrey said.

"Given that Forest & Bird were at the meeting they must have been asleep or stopped listening," Mr Aubrey concluded.


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