NZ Tahr Foundation
7 March 2019
Hunters stand up but won’t be counted
Following the halt to the Department of Conservation’s tahr control operations in October last year recreational hunters have taken up the charge and removed a large number of tahr with approximately 1000 having been registered on the DOC website.
“The decision by the Department of Conservation to ignore the efforts of recreational hunters in removing a large number of tahr from the Southern Alps is very disappointing” said Snow Hewetson spokesperson for the NZ Tahr Foundation.
DOC requested that hunters log the tahr killed on their website specifically set up for this purpose and hunters have done as instructed, but these kills will now not be counted in the total of 10,000 tahr to be culled prior to the end of August this year. “This is slap in the face for the many recreational hunters who, at their own cost, got out in the mountains and killed tahr. Despite this we still want all hunters to continue their good work and log their kills on the website.”
The NZ Tahr Foundation worked cooperatively and in good faith with DOC through the Tahr Liaison Group process to arrive at a plan for removing 10,000 tahr even though the actual tahr population on public land is unknown with the best estimate being between 24,000 and 48,000. At the recent Tahr Liaison Group meeting recreational hunters, hunting guides and WARO reaffirmed their commitment to remove as many tahr as they can to assist DOC.
Southern Alps Meats put a proposal to DOC to shoot all the required tahr and recover the carcasses of as many as possible for the export market. Southern Alps meats has recovered and processed approximately 2000 tahr in the last 2 years at zero cost to the tax payer. They include some of New Zealand’s most experienced helicopter hunters operating from Kaikoura to Te Anau. The company would turn animals that would otherwise be left to rot into export meat from New Zealand’s Southern Alps. The New Zealand Tahr foundation would like to see the Department work with these operators and recover as many tahr as possible.
“DOC has stated publicly that they are committed to working with the recreational and commercial hunting sector to achieve the 10,000 total. We want to see that commitment actually put into practise and we will be monitoring closely what DOC does going forward” said Snow Hewetson.
Spokesperson NZ Tahr Foundation