View previous Tahr Control Operational Plan documents and related information on control planning decisions.

View previous tahr control operational plans by year:

Control plan 20/21: 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021

Tahr Control Operational Plan 2020/2021 (PDF, 1,847K).

The plan was reconsidered after consultation. Documents related to the consultation process and decision are available below.

Tahr controlled under this plan

A total of 7,481 tahr were controlled between July and November 2020:

Tahr controlled outside national parks (Management Unit 4)

  • 4,182 female and juvenile tahr were controlled on public conservation land located outside the national parks management unit, but inside of the feral range.
  • Outside the national parks management unit, DOC targeted high densities of tahr and did not target identifiable males. The groups targeted generally ranged in size between 10 to 30 animals. Other tahr were left for hunters in these areas.

Tahr controlled in national parks (Management Unit 4)

  • 3,299 tahr were controlled within the Aoraki/Mount Cook and Westland Tai Poutini National Parks Management Unit to protect these special places.
  • Management Unit 4 (national parks) is the only location inside the feral range where DOC is legally required to target all tahr.

Summary of changes to the original plan

DOC reduced its previously planned control hours within the South Rakaia and Upper Rangitata management unit which is favoured by hunters. DOC also completed control for the year in the Wills/Makarora/Hunter management unit where tahr numbers are at relatively low densities.

DOC avoided popular hunting spots and huts and focused on controlling high densities of tahr within terrain that is less suitable for ground hunting. For example, at the time of releasing the revised plan, DOC was still regularly finding groups of up to 30 tahr in the Landsborough where access is challenging. So some of the remaining control hours were reallocated to target less accessible areas of the feral range.

DOC continued to leave identifiable male tahr for hunters outside of the national parks’ management unit. Plans were also progressing during 2020/21 to improve hunter access where possible, including extending the popular tahr ballot.

Decision documents supporting the revised plan

We released the decision documents and all information Deputy Director-General Mike Slater considered before making his decision to approve the revised Tahr Control Operational Plan for 2020/21.

These documents outline the consultation process, submissions, analysis and how the Tahr Control Operational Plan was reconsidered.

Decision document: Reconsideration of the Tahr Control Operational Plan 2020/21 (PDF, 3,508K)

Documents related to the consultation process and decision:

Note: some of these documents are low quality scans

Control plan 19/20: 1 September 2019 to 30 June 2020

Read the Tahr Control Operational Plan 2019/2020 (PDF, 1,650K)

The 1 September 2019 to 30 June 2020 plan was developed following meetings between DOC, Ngāi Tahu, and key stakeholders including members of the Tahr Plan Implementation Liaison Group. The plan saw 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.

Tahr controlled under this plan

DOC control focused 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 took place from 1 September until 14 November 2019.

DOC targeted key areas and nationally significant landscapes and spent 40 hours in the air protecting the national parks as well as another 25 hours in the air controlling the edge of the feral range boundaries. In all areas, DOC left identifiable male tahr for recreational and commercial hunters to control. Recreational hunters were able to log their control efforts using the Tahr Returns App.

High court declaratory judgment

In June 2020, Forest & Bird announced it was seeking a High Court declaratory judgment that the Tahr Control Operational Plan for 2019/2020 does not comply with the Himalayan Thar Control Plan 1993, the Wild Animal Control Act 1977 and the National Parks Act 1980. DOC stated its intended to defend the proceedings. 

Control plan 18/19: October 2018 to 30 August 2019

Read the Tahr Control Operational Plan October 2018 – August 2019 (PDF, 290K)

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.

Tahr controlled under this plan

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 were produced which showed the location of animals aerially controlled and where males (bulls) were observed. These maps could be used by recreational hunters as they showed where control has been carried out and where large numbers of male tahr can be found.

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