The Game Animal Council has assisted Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP) to assess tahr mortality during a possum eradication trial in the Perth catchment in South Westland. The GAC has been working alongside NZDA, DOC, Landcare Research, a helicopter company and the Professional Hunting Guides Association to implement the monitoring programme.
Before the operation began, which included the use of aerial 1080 using a modified application technique, Game Animal Council personnel fitted 21 tahr with radio transmitter collars. Results showed that tahr survival was extremely high, in fact none of the monitored tahr died as a result of the operation.
Tahr carcasses were also used to discourage kea from potentially consuming poison bait. This was extremely successful and is an important outcome for both hunting and conservation.
The results will be invaluable for better understanding how predator control can be carried out while minimising adverse effects on game animals, and should also inform what future work is required. You can learn more about how the ZIP trial worked in this video made by Predator Free NZ and featuring GAC’s Tim Gale:
The Game Animal Council is supportive of the development of alternative pest control programmes that seek to maximise conservation outcomes and minimise the impact on game animals.
Further information on ZIP’s activities is available here.