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Canada Ottawa spends $5.7 million on deer eradication in Haida Gwaii featuring New Zealand sharpshooters

16:32  11 april  2018
16:32  11 april  2018 Source:   vancouversun.com

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Ottawa spends $ 5 . 7 million on deer eradication in Haida Gwaii featuring New Zealand The Haida I know are self reliant and more than capable of taking these pests out - and getting good Instead they spend Canadians hard earned money to give to foriegners. Why should the govt. care?

The federal government is spending $ 5 . 7 million over three years to eradicate introduced deer on six islands on Haida Gwaii — including the hiring of …

040918-bait_stations_being_hiked_into_key_feeding_locations_on_Ramsay: .© Parks Canada .

The federal government is spending $5.7 million over three years to eradicate introduced deer on six islands on Haida Gwaii  — including the hiring of New Zealand sharpshooters to fire from helicopters, boats and on the ground with tracking dogs.

The program, which enters its second year of eradication this spring, is designed to allow vegetation on the islands to recover from foraging by Sitka black-tailed deer, which were introduced to Haida Gwaii, then the Queen Charlotte Islands, for hunting starting in 1898.

The islands involved in the eradication program — Ramsay (largest at 1,600 hectares, and the primary focus), Murchison, Bischof, Faraday, House, and Hotspring — are grouped within Juan Perez Sound within Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site.

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The federal government is spending $ 5 . 7 million over three years to eradicate introduced deer on six islands on Haida Gwaii — including the hiring of New Zealand sharpshooters to fire from helicopters, boats and on the ground with tracking dogs. Ottawa spends $ 5 . 7 million on deer eradication in

Ottawa spends $ 5 . 7 million on deer eradication in Haida Gwaii featuring New Zealand sharpshooters | - Продолжительность: 6:54 Justin Trudeau Stories 1 просмотр.

In 2017, a total of 598 deer were shot from March to October and their meat distributed for food on Haida Gwaii. Five Kiwis who specialize in deer eradication were hired to fire mostly .223 Remington rifles from low-flying helicopters and from the ground with tracking dogs, a mixture of breeds including Hungarian Vizsla equipped with GPS collars so hunters could follow them to the deer. Shooting also took place from boats along the shoreline.

Prior to the hunt beginning, a sweep was conducted of the islands to ensure no one was camping there.

“Although we have a lot of great local hunters, we wanted people who are eradication specialists,” Robyn Irvine, project manager for Parks Canada, said in an interview.

“The deaths of these animals were as humane and quick as possible.” New Zealand has a long history of dealing with the impact of introduced species, including deer and feral goats.

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Black-tailed deer and raccoon are introduced species that have become abundant. Construction of the new Queen Charlotte/ Haida Gwaii Hospital will be cost-shared by the province and the Sailing in Haida Gwaii is featured in Robin Esrock's bestselling book The Great Canadian Bucket List.[53].

The SPCA confirmed it was impressed by the clean kills that minimized suffering to the deer.

“I was blown away at how professional it was,” said Sara Dubois, the SPCA’s chief scientific officer. “They would only take head shots — no body shots — and only if they could guarantee an instant kill.”

The program started by attracting the deer with a combination of dry corn, cedar boughs, and fresh apples at bait stations, where some could be quickly picked off, then moved into a more aggressive and wide-ranging seek-and-destroy mission throughout the islands.

Four Americans who specialize in wildlife behaviour also participated in the program as well as 32 residents of Haida Gwaii, both Haida and non-Haida, including four sharpshooters (one of whom joined the Kiwis for helicopter-based shooting) as well as logistical and technical support.

Two non-profit organizations, Coastal Conservation and Island Conservation, also assisted in the program.

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The federal government is spending $ 5 . 7 million over three years to eradicate introduced deer on six islands on Haida Gwaii — including the hiring of New Zealand sharpshooters to fire f…

TheStarPhoenix.comПодлинная учетная запись @TheStarPhoenix. Ottawa spends $ 5 . 7 million on deer eradication in Haida Gwaii featuring New Zealand sharpshooters https Did you actually read the article? New Zealand has a history with needing to destroy invasive species, including deer .

Already some of the vegetation is starting to return. Western red cedar, a tree strongly tied to Haida culture and artwork, is also expected to recover and grow to monumental size. Over time, the islands will even sound different, as species return to native habitat.

“The deer have had a crazy impact … on all levels of biodiversity,” Irvine said. “Invertebrates and insects of all kinds decrease with deer, the soil depth becomes thinner because of the trampling and browsing, and with the loss of shrub cover you wind up with a loss of songbirds and seabird habitat.”

This year the program will resume on a limit basis by boat and with dogs at Faraday Island, and it will wrap up in 2019. Although a few hungry wolves might have accomplished the job, the fact is wolves are not native to Haida Gwaii, either.

“That’s come up more than once,”  Irvine said. “To bring in one non-native species to deal with another one can sometimes cause more problems.”

Parks Canada is also involved in an ongoing program to eradicate introduced rats on Haida Gwaai to help protect seabird nesting colonies.

lpynn@postmedia.com

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