Control plan targeting 300 female deer

A new pest control project in Fiordland National Park will cull up to 300 female deer in an effort to improve both conservation and recreational hunting in the area.

The project was jointly developed by the Department of Conservation, Fiordland Wapiti Foundation and the Game Animal Council.

It is due to get under way in the west of the Murchison Mountains and south of the established wapiti range during the next period of stable weather and will run over the next few months.

Doc senior ranger George Ledgard said the initiative intended to partly address the gap left by the reduction in wild animal recovery operations because of depressed wild venison prices.

"Monitoring in these areas indicates that with less wild animal recovery operations in recent years, work is needed to reduce deer numbers and protect sensitive alpine species such as the mountain buttercup and Fiordland mountain daisy.

"Importantly, the project will help maintain the high conservation values of both the Murchison Mountains, home of the takahe, and Secretary Island, Fiordland’s largest deer-free island, which is within swimming distance of the mainland."

Game Animal Council general manager Tim Gale said the development of the programme and the continuing collaboration between the hunting sector and Doc in Fiordland showed a model for progressive game animal management.

It illustrated how well-planned management benefited both conservation and hunting, he said.



Only DoC would cull after the breeding season... The fawns will be able to survive in a month so what was the point..
The 300 they plan on culling have already replenished themselves this year.



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