Goats were introduced to New Zealand in the early days of European settlement for food, to estabish a commercial fibre industry, and for weed control on developing land. The descendents of those that escaped or were deliberately released thrived in the country’s grass hills, forest and scrubland areas.
Today feral goats (Capra hircus) occur on both main islands and a few offshore islands. Feral goats are classifed as wild animals under the Wild Animal Control Act 1977.
Feral goats prefer a forest or scrub habitat, and constantly ‘test’ out plants to see if they are worth eating.
The browsing of feral goats effectively puts a stop to forest regeneration.
Learn about DOC's goat control operations.
Find out how to recognise if goats are present and how to assist DOC with controlling feral goats.
Feral goats factsheet (PDF, 161K)
Phone 0800 DOC HOTline (0800 362 468) 24 hour emergency number to report:
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