Tahr nannies and juvenile males

Image: Dylan Higgison | ©

Introduction

DOC is working with Ngāi Tahu, the hunting sector and the Tahr Plan Implementation Liaison Group, to over time reduce the size of the tahr population back within the limits of the Himalayan Thar Control Plan 1993.

Highlights

Following three years of aerial monitoring surveys, DOC estimates the Himalayan tahr population on public conservation land had reached approximately 35,000 animals by autumn 2018 (this estimate does not include tahr on Crown pastoral leases and private land). See Estimates of Himalayan tahr abundance in New Zealand (PDF, 1220K)

As Himalayan tahr are an introduced species and have no native predators in New Zealand, the population will continue to increase unless it is efficiently controlled by DOC and hunters. Tahr have a significant impact on threatened alpine and sub-alpine vegetation. See Animal pests - tahr

Hunting Himalayan tahr recreationally

Verify your hunt with the Tahr Returns App

Use an app on your smartphone to record and log the number of Himalayan tahr you've hunted. Download the app.

Your hunting efforts will help to inform future control operations and will help protect Aoraki/Mount Cook and Westland Tai Poutini national parks, and other public conservation land.

Find tahr hunting ‘hotspots’

DOC has mapped the locations of thousands of tahr observed on public conservation land between July and November 2019. Use these maps to help with planning your next hunt: tahr sightings maps

Tahr Control Operational Plan

Purpose of the plan

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 first agreed to by the Tahr Liaison Group in 1993. 

1 September 2019 to 30 June 2020 plan

The plan was developed following meetings between DOC, Ngāi Tahu, and key stakeholders including members of the Tahr Plan Implementation Liaison Group.

The plan will see DOC, recreational and guided hunters, a commercial contractor, WARO and Aerial Assisted Trophy Hunting concessionaires work together to control Himalayan tahr to protect ecologically significant areas such as the national parks.

DOC control will focus on protecting Aoraki/Mount Cook and Westland Tai Poutini national parks from the impacts of a tahr population, while also stopping the tahr feral range from geographically expanding. Under this plan, DOC control will take place from 1 September until 14 November 2019.

Instead of targeting a specific number of animals, DOC will target key areas and nationally significant landscapes. We plan to spend 40 hours in the air protecting the national parks as well as another 40 hours in the air controlling the edge of the feral range boundaries.

In all areas, DOC will be leaving identifiable male tahr for recreational and commercial hunters to control. Recreational hunters will be able to log their control efforts on an app which is currently in development.

The Tahr Control Operational Plan is designed to work towards reducing tahr populations to the densities required under the Himalayan Tahr Control Plan 1993, while a longer-term operational control plan is developed over the next year. The 2019-2020 operational plan is also designed to protect national parks by moving the number of tahr in the parks towards zero density.

As it has always done so, DOC will continue to carry out tahr control outside of the feral range to stop the geographical range from expanding. This work is not included in the plan as no tahr are supposed to be outside of the feral range.

Until the end of June 2020, DOC will be working with Ngāi Tahu and all tahr stakeholders to develop a long-term plan for tahr control which aims to meet the objectives of the Himalayan Thar Control Plan 1993.

View the Tahr Control Operational Plan 2019-2020 (PDF, 1,650K)

Tahr control between October 2018 – 30 August 2019

DOC worked alongside organised recreational hunters, wild animal recovery operators, a commercial contractor and Aerial Assisted Trophy Hunting concessionaires to control Himalayan tahr and protect the alpine environment of the central South Island.

We collectively made excellent progress to reduce the Himalayan tahr population by 10,000 animals to protect native and iconic plants such as the snow tussock. Maps have been produced which show the location of animals aerially controlled and where males (bulls) were observed. These maps can be used by recreational hunters as they show where control has been carried out and where large numbers of male tahr can be found.

Tahr sighting maps and data

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