DOC Turns from Tahr to Deer
Having successfully initiated a cull of tahr, Conservation Minister Eugene Sage has now set her sights on deer says an article in the “Farmers Weekly”, September 14.
Sage has instructed her department (DOC) to look at what she called “the increasing deer abundance and spread and he impacts on public conservation land.”DOC’s four stage project will define the problem, develop and then enable the preferred response by implementing the plan from July.”
The project “Farmers Weekly” said, was initiated following reports of damage by deer to forests in the Raukumara, Kaimai and Mamaku Ranges with lessons learnt to be extended to the Ruahine, Kaweka and Kaimanawa Ranges.
Sage says in the Raukumara Ranges, deer have steadily increased in the last 20 years and are now eating plant species that were previously numerous. She also cited the Central North Island with “the ongoing threat of mountain beech forest collapse as high deer numbers browse forest understory.”
According to Sage the poor condition and size of deer suggests numbers are excessive.
Deer are being seen in new locations including fallow deer from Northland to Southland.
NZDA chief executive Gwyn Thurlow saysid initial contact has been more constructive than over tahr. Hunters were successful with court action against DOC for failing to consult on a planned cull of tahr. Gyn Thurlow says a new control plan for deer must be based on science and research.
The question of whether deer populations were “excessive” demands a science backed answer he said. Hunters would oppose the use of 1080 poison.
“There are better ways,” says Gwyn Thurlow.
© Deer in Sage and DOC’s sights now?