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Sambar Deer part of our heritage

Sambar Deer part of our heritage

Dr Hugh Barr spokesman for the New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association (NZDA) is saddened at the anti Sambar deer attitudes of some Manawatu farming and forestry interests.

Denis Hocking, spokesman for the Manawatu farm forestry sector says he wants Option 3 of the three proposed Sambar deer management options. This is the one most likely to exterminate Sambar in the Manawatu.

Dr Barr said Sambar deer were introduced from Ceylon in the early 1870s, so had been here over 130 years, and pre-dated the introduction of pine trees. They had established well and have a legitimate place in the Manawatu’s ecological diversity. They are not pests.

“Sambar are a large and impressive deer” Dr Barr said. “They have given interest and pleasure to many rural landowners just by their presence and elegance. They are also a valued recreational hunting asset greatly appreciated by the national deerstalking community. This has lead to recreational users, through the Sambar Deer Management Foundation, effectively managing the herd under contract to the Department of Conservation.”

“Problems may have arisen in some areas by there being too many deer, and damage to pine trees had occurred. But these matters were readily soluble, and were already being addressed” Dr Barr said. The consultation was because the 30 year old regulations were too inflexible. NZDA strongly favoured Option 1. This allowed greater flexibility to hunt where numbers were too high, but should maintain a healthy herd into the future.”

“It is ironic and disappointing that elements of the forestry sector, itself pilloried in the past for being based on introduced trees, now want elimination of the iconic Sambar deer species, Dr Barr said.” Rather they should support the perfectly feasible managed co-existence of both species.”

New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association Incorporated (NZDA) is the national body of recreational deerstalkers and other big game hunters. We have 57 branches and hunting member clubs throughout New Zealand. We have 7200 members, and have been actively advocating for recreational deerstalking and hunting, running hunter training courses, trips, conferences etc since 1937. We maintain ethical standards for hunting.

Dr Hugh Barr
National Advocate, NZ Deerstalkers Assn

ends

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