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.
The GAC has assisted Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP) to assess tahr mortality during a possum eradication trial in the Perth catchment. The GAC has been working with ZIP, NZDA, DOC, Landcare Research, a helicopter company and the hunting guides association to implement the monitoring program to assess the effects of the ZIP pest control operation on tahr.
21 tahr were fitted with Sirtrack collars in April 2018. The first toxic application occurred in April 2019.
All tahr exposed to aerial 1080 survived both the first and second phase of the operation. All tagged kea also survived the second phase.
This is an extremely important outcome for hunters and conservation because it is the first signal that kea mortality via secondary poisoning from tahr killed by 1080 is unlikely to be a problem.
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. The cooperation shown by all parties working together has been good for both hunting and conservation outcomes.
More information is available here.