Swazi Stories

Tahr Eradication Programme

Davey Tahr Eradication

TAHR ERADICATION BEGINS

 

   We have too many tahr in our mountains. That’s a fact. An optimum population level is a subject of discussion not only limited to and by the Department of Conservation, but also embraced and expected by hunters, that’s the second fact. What’s the problem then? Why so much outrage at the recently released news that the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage, has ordered the cull of somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000 tahr?

 

   We need to step back to a document, which in my opinion, is much outdated. The Himalayan Thar Control Plan (HTCP). (Yeah, they used to spell it Thar way back then!). In the introductory statement from the then Minister of Conservation, Denis Marshall, he states “If it was possible, eradication would be the preferred option for the Department.”  Again, when Marshall raises the issue of maximum tahr densities he cites, “Ideally the Department would seek zero thar densities across the feral range.” 

 

   About the only positive I can take from the HTCP is that it specifically states the Department will liaise closely with recreational hunters and hunting organisations to inform them of localised areas where tahr numbers are too high, encouraging them to take an active role in herd reduction, plus inform hunters of results from ALL parts of the plan implementation.

 

   That’s not happening.

 

  Tahr density estimates recently undertaken are that there are 35,633 tahr, with a 95% confidence interval of the population being between 17,347 and 53,920 tahr. You can take that last figure any which way you choose. Interestingly enough, the survey wasn’t even conducted by NZ scientists, but rather contracted to an Australian institute. Is that because us Kiwis don’t possess the expertise on how to manage our own backyard?

 

   In June I met with Lou Sanson, the Director General of DOC, where the topic of tahr densities was raised, given I’d just returned from a week of hunting the Karangarua. The likelihood of a management cull in the vicinity of 5-10,000 tahr was discussed and at that stage Lou mentioned it would be nannies and juvenile tahr which would be targeted. However, it would seem that the Minister has her own agenda, the number of tahr to be killed has trebled, while it now appears up to 30% of the animals to be culled will be bulls. When you decipher that number, that’s pretty much every single bull in sight.

 

   It’s so wrong and we have to stop it. Actually, you have to stop it, as it’s only our collective voice that will bring the politicians to the table. No-one else will do it.

 

   Here’s what you need to do. Write to your local MP (I’ll include some excellent points from The Tahr Foundation FB, so that should make it easy on ya!) and choose a couple more MPs from the list below to email or even better, write to (you don’t even need to put a stamp on the envelope) Emphasise DOC needs to actually do what is stated in the HTCP, proactively liaise with hunters. An email is good, a posted letter is better, as it sits on a desk, must be answered and must be filed, emails can be deleted even before they are read…

 

Tahr Foundation suggestions to write to MPs.

  1. The culling must stop now
  2. DoC must work with the GAC to come up with a solution that does not destroy tahr hunting
  3. There is no need for a panic reaction, tahr numbers will not explode while a solution is reached
  4. Mention you support a culling programme
  5. NO Bull Tahr of any age to be shot
  6. State you support more robust science to set population levels that meet both conservation and hunting needs
  7. State you are prepared to contribute to Tahr Management by actively participating in nanny culls
  8. Tahr hunting gets people into remote back country where no others go.

 

If sending your letter in an envelope:

[insert MP name] Freepost Parliament Private Bag 18 888 Parliament Buildings Wellington 6160

 

 

MP’s email contacts:

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

Nikki.[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

 

    Join a club or organisation where instead of one voice we have thousands. Like FB pages that promote hunting tahr and other species. Support the Game Animal Council in their mandate to lobby for hunters and provide advice to the Minister. (Even though the GAC is a statutory body, the Minister has failed to meet with them yet, which underlines her disdain for hunters basically.)

 

   If you believe Tahr are the only species that will be targeted, think again. There’s a Bill going through the House right now that will see trout and salmon removed from many of our rivers…

 

   So that’s it. If you ever thought your hunting way of life would be around forever, you’re bloody wrong. Get off your arse, stand up - and be counted or you will lose it.

 

Davey     

14 Comments

  1. Malcolm Lowrey

    20 Sep 2018

    What about the contractors who will make mo ey from carrying out the cull. How do we target their sense of reason? Without contractors the cull will be theoretical?

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  2. Grant Holden

    20 Sep 2018

    Hello, Interesting piece....I agree, the Minister seems to have her own agenda, a very green one. I do think though, that if you cull, you can`t just cull nannies and young animals. Where are your replacement animals going to come from? If you leave all the bulls, surely that leaves a lopsided society, which may actually cause ill health to a number of the remaining bulls. I think you need a balanced approach. I aint no expert but just sayin...... Cheers, Grant

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  3. John Beaufill

    20 Sep 2018

    Hi Davey....totally agree with you we need to stop the culling process as there enough hunters out there to help control the Thar just let us know the areas that are supposedly over run and we can go after them. I was in the Haast area a few months ago hunting Thar and we only saw a few very high up and we went in bi chopper and saw very few on the way in or out of the ballot blocks we went to via James Scott

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  4. Michael Anselmi

    20 Sep 2018

    Well said Davey if we loose this we loose all hunter gatherers outdoor and wilderness opportunity forever not just a generation or two

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  5. Lindsay Bullivant

    20 Sep 2018

    The idea of consultation with hunters, who as most people know are outdoors enjoying the environment and contributing to protection and management of game animals , does not exist. The government bodies control the information that the media presents so even though I have been involved for many years with hunting friends who do not hunt or fish seem to believe that I am just a redneck against DOC who must be right!

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  6. Nick Whyte

    20 Sep 2018

    Well written and makes great sense. Thanks for all the emails I will send another few to them with those valuable points that I missed in my first anger fueled email. Thanks Davey Cheers Nick

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  7. Phil

    20 Sep 2018

    Thank you Davey. Unless we get info from the likes of hunters our mates or from other people like your self lots of people who should know what’s going don’t get the information so don’t know what the hell is going on until it’s too late.

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  8. Max Bensemann

    20 Sep 2018

    Thank you Dave these comments are so very true and I do not know where the Hon Eugene Sage gets information from. Yes we have to many Tahr in areas stated But do we have to have a wipe out.

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  9. Matt Hurst

    21 Sep 2018

    Thanks Davey for your comments and call to action. I wrote to the Conservation Minister 2 days ago but am heading down to the post office for a bunch of envelopes to send letters to other MPs on both sides of the aisle.

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  10. Chris Sayer

    22 Sep 2018

    Hi Dave , great article. Will start writing. Seems to me that Doc are doing there utmost to stuff up our hunting and they are treating hunters like the enemy. We do need to stop pandering to them as they only have one goal in mind. We need to fight them every step of the way.

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  11. charles mitchell

    24 Sep 2018

    what will the next generation have for out door pursuit ? mountains are not just for the greenies and bird people . we have a way of life that is only available in New Zealand to every body free to all and theres room for all activities

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  12. Eddy sligo

    24 Sep 2018

    Power in numbers!

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  13. Mark Anderson

    24 Sep 2018

    Good stuff well worth fighting for. Will Ben penning a letter or two this week

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  14. Gary Saunders

    13 Nov 2018

    Who do these politicians think they are? They are elected to represent the voters not to push their own agenda. We need to vote only for people and parties who are willing to sign a declaration that they will totally represent the magority who put them there. On the flip side different hunting organisations are their own worst enemies so easily divided and conquered so complacent and blind. Like rust they never sleep they chip away at our rights and freedoms and we in our selfishness let them

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