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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Silly old Arapara goats have to go...


Silly old Arapara goats have to go...

An international effort has to be mounted to save rare goats marked for death on an island in the Marlborough Sounds in the northern South Island of New Zealand.

Rare breed enthusiasts from New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom have joined forces to raise money to rescue some of the Arapara goats before the official cull starts soon on the island.

The goats are believed to have descended from a few left by Captain Cook in 1773 and 1777, and are believed to be a rare species.

But the Conservation Department said these goats are ravaging unique plant species on the island and the goat numbers needed to be controlled.

Wild goats are described as browsers, rather than grazers. They allegedly cause considerable damage to understory vegetation up to two metres above ground, damaging young trees in exotic forests and along replanted soil-conservation areas.The effects of goats destroying undergrowth and the effects of possums browsing the canopies, results in significant and possible permanent damage to the native population.

As a consequence the Conservation Department is forced into controlling wild goat populations, and the intended cull of the Arapara goat population is part of this population control. It is sad but necessary!

Wild Goats

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