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If DOC Won’t Protect Moose, Then I Will, Says Roy

11 October 2005

If DOC Won’t Protect Moose, Then I Will, Says Roy

Invercargill MP Eric Roy will introduce a Members’ Bill to protect Fiordland’s moose population if the Department of Conservation or Conservation Authority tries to have them culled.

Mr Roy said he was supporting a call from the Game and Forest Foundation to protect the moose from extermination provisions in the National Parks Act. The proposed Bill would also protect the moose from hunters in general who wanted to try and bag a Fiordland moose.

“This is the only successful liberation of moose in the Southern Hemisphere. If there are surviving moose as recent DNA tests indicate, then we should protect them in the spirit of conservation, science, and public interest,” Mr Roy said.

“The moose appear to have adapted and survived in a setting quite different from their normal habitat, which makes them a fascinating subject for the scientific community. They have been there since release in 1910 without any obvious damage or risk to Fiordland’s natural ecology. The unique nature of these animals means we must ensure they are protected.”

Mr Roy, a long-time conservationist, said it was unlikely the Department of Conservation could afford the resources to find the moose, and an exemption under the National Parks Act was common sense.

“A friend of mine in Wyoming knows there are moose on his property, because he finds their antlers quite often. Yet he has never seen one. They are very shy animals. Therefore, if DoC wanted to go into Fiordland to exterminate our local moose, the cost in man hours and resources such as helicopters to find an animal that actively avoids humans would far exceed the resources needed to sign an exemption under the Act,” he said.

Mr Roy said he would wait to see what the Conservation Authority decided, but was throwing his support behind the Game and Forest Foundation and ready to put forward the Members’ Bill if needed.

ENDS

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