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Action on Himalayan tahr vital to conservation

5 March 2019

The Department of Conservation’s Himalayan tahr control work, vital to protecting the unique alpine landscapes of the South Island, resumes this week.

DOC’s Director Community Engagement, Dr Ben Reddiex says DOC will continue working with the hunting community to reduce tahr on conservation land.

“There are reports of numerous tahr herds foraging through tall tussock and other native alpine plants.

“Latest population estimates put the tahr population, across approximately 1.7 million ha of land, at nearly 35,000 animals, well above the limit of 10,000 tahr set out in control plans years ago.

“Urgent action is needed. It is important we stop the population migrating further than the current feral range.

“DOC’s Tahr Control Operational Plan sets to remove 10,000 tahr by the end of August 2019 and we are committed to working with the recreational and commercial hunting sector to achieve this.

“Initial control efforts will focus on tahr exclusion zones and in associated buffer areas.

Opportunities for the hunting community include:

DOC will leave bulls in the seven Tahr Management Units for recreational and commercial hunters to hunt.
Organised recreational hunting groups, Wild Animal Recovery Operations (WARO) and Aerially Assisted Trophy Hunting off-sets will be counted.
Information on the location of any bulls will be provided to the hunting sector.
Approximately $1 million has been allocated for Himalyan tahr control and further research into tahr abundance and its impacts on the environment until August this year.

“There is no plan to eradicate tahr however we need to ensure that New Zealand alpine ecosystems are protected from the growing tahr population,” says Dr Reddiex.

–Ends–

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