DOC has released its Tahr Control Operational Plan for October 2018 – 31 August 2019 which identifies how it will work with the hunting sector to reduce tahr numbers in the central South Island.
Tahr feral range map. View a larger map (PDF, 984K)
The Operational Plan was developed following a series of meetings with representatives of the Tahr Plan Implementation Liaison Group (TPILG) and includes ideas from the hunting sector on the best way to, over time, reduce numbers.
The operational plan is the first step towards reducing tahr numbers to within the limits of the Himalayan Thar Control Plan (HTCP) 1993.
Within this statutory plan the total tahr population has to be under 10,000 across the total tahr feral range. This includes public conservation land, as well as tahr on Crown pastoral leases and private land.
- Tahr Control Operational Plan October 2018 – August 2019 (PDF, 290K)
- Himalayan Tahr Control Plan
- Tahr density estimates from aerial surveys - preliminary results (PDF, 356K)
- The threat of tahr and reports on its impacts
- Tahr sighting maps and data
- Tahr management units map (PDF, 852K)
Planning to hunt tahr recreationally?
We would like to record the efforts of recreational hunters to reduce the tahr population. Your hunting effort and observations can help inform the management of tahr.
To make it easy to capture this information, we have created a short online form for you to send in your hunting returns. By completing the form your hunting effort and observations can be recognised.
What is the Himalayan Thar Control Plan 1993?
The Himalayan Tahr Control Plan is a statutory document made under section 5(1)(d) of the Wild Animal Control Act 1977. It enables DOC to undertake official control to reduce tahr numbers when recreational, guided hunting and commercial hunting have not been able to keep tahr below the maximum number allowed. This plan was agreed to by the Tahr Liaison Group in 1993.
Why are tahr being controlled?
DOC monitoring has estimated the Himalayan Tahr population on public conservation land alone totals more than 35,000 animals (this estimate does not include tahr on Crown pastoral leases and private land). The estimate is more than the 10,000 allowed within the HTCP. (link to HTCP)
Monitoring of the alpine and sub-alpine vegetation is showing tahr are having a significant impact.
How will the control take place?
The Tahr Control Operational Plan identifies:
- where and how DOC will carry out control work
- the expected efforts and actions of the hunting sector to assist reduction of tahr numbers in high priority areas
- how DOC can support the sector
- opportunities for the hunting sector to organise themselves to coordinate their efforts across the feral range to assist in lowering the population
- DOC’s ‘business-as-usual’ control in the Northern and Southern Exclusion Zones and outside of the feral range.
Note: DOC’s Operational Plan does not identify how tahr should be controlled on Crown pastoral leases and private land as DOC’s priority is to reduce tahr numbers on public conservation land.
Phased management approach
The phased management approach will ensure the HTCP 1993 is implemented, to achieve its purpose over time.
The five phases will include:
- DOC and others undertaking control work
- DOC monitoring the control work
- DOC reporting to the TPILG
- DOC and TPILG reviewing the results in December 2018
- DOC possibly revising the work set for the January – 31 August 2019 operational plan to achieve the 10,000 reduction target with the TLG.
Meetings with the TLG are tentatively planned for early December 2018 and July 2019.
These meetings are held to update, share information and support decision-making.
What control will DOC be doing?
The highest priority areas for DOC control are areas of public conservation land inside the Management Units of the HTCP 1993. The areas are:
- Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park
- Westland/Tai Poutini National Park
- Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area
- Wilderness Areas
- High value conservation areas
- Areas that are difficult to access for recreational hunters
- Areas that feed tahr into exclusion zones.
The control of male tahr, by DOC, within the feral range
Within the management units of the HTCP, DOC will prioritise the control of female and juvenile tahr. DOC will not deliberately target identifiable male tahr - however some males may inadvertently be removed as part of control operations. This data will be openly reported. DOC expects other stakeholders to reduce the male tahr population.
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