The New Zealand Deerstalkers Association believes the Department of Conservation’s 2021/22 tahr control operational plan released yesterday is a step in the right direction and notes the plan acknowledges the important role played by recreational hunters in tahr management.
The Himalayan tahr herd is a valued resource to New Zealand’s hunting community and after two years of being in direct conflict with the hunting sector’s organisations the Department is now actively involving those hunting organisations in their plan, something long called for by NZDA says NZDA’s Chief Executive, Gwyn Thurlow.
“This year we have seen a major change in the Department’s approach. The Department has realised the hunting community provides good information which is based on observations from the field, and that those same organisations can form part of the long-term solution regarding tahr management,” says Mr Thurlow.
“It is pleasing to see a commitment by the Department to gather quality data and this enables the results of research to help make better informed future decisions. It is further pleasing to see that the New Zealand Game Animal Council will work with the Department to review the implementation of the plan at the mid-point.”
Gwyn Thurlow says, “While we welcome some aspects of this year’s plan, I’m cautiously optimistic. There is still room for improvement. In particular, NZDA has concerns with the total number of planned hours, which may be excessive given the previous years’ culls, and NZDA does not support the continued culling planned for Mt Cook and Westland National Parks, particularly targeting the highly prized bull tahr.”