Official control for the 2018/19 Tahr Control Operational Plan finished on 27 August. Results are available at DoC’s Tahr Control Operations information page.
Of particular interest to hunters and something that the Game Animal Council and the NZ Tahr Foundation successfully negotiated with DoC are the production of maps showing the locations and numbers of tahr controlled, and where and in what numbers bulls have been seen.
Note that bulls were not targeted by operations within the feral range.
New Control Plan until 30 June 2020 announced
The Tahr Control Operational Plan for 1 September 2019 to 30 June 2020 has been released by DoC. The plan was developed following consultation with key stakeholders including the Game Animal Council.
DOC control will focus on protecting Aoraki/Mount Cook and Westland Tai Poutini national parks from the impacts of a large tahr population, while also stopping the tahr feral range from geographically expanding. Under this plan, DoC control will take place from 1 September until 14 November 2019.
Instead of targeting a specific number of animals, DoC will target key areas and nationally significant landscapes. We plan to spend 40 hours in the air protecting the national parks as well as another 40 hours in the air controlling the edge of the feral range boundaries.
In all areas, DoC will be leaving identifiable male tahr for hunters . Recreational hunters will be able to log their control efforts on an app which is currently in development.
The end objective is to produce a long-term sustainable management plan for tahr that will not require large-scale control operations.
From what we are hearing from all the hunting sectors, and from the maps DoC is posting on their website, there are good numbers of bulls out there. We encourage everyone to keep on hunting and contribute to tahr management.
Recreational Hunting App
An App is being developed to verify hunter’s kills and some preliminary trialling has been done to assess its capability. This is a work in progress.
In the following videos Professor Geoff Kerr describes how DoC has estimated the number of tahr.