Tahr tally at 7-year record

More than 4700 tahr were culled in South Canterbury in 2012-13 - the highest number in the past seven years.

Of those, 3254 were shot in the Department of Conservation's aerial kill, according to a report presented to the Canterbury Aoraki Conservation Board last week.

Recreational and commercial hunters also shot the animals to make up the tally.

Twizel's conservation services manager Neil Bolton said the DOC management policy for tahr was to control numbers on critical sites of high conservation value.

The Himalayan Thar Control Plan 1993 has guided DOC's control work for the past decade, setting targets to keep the tahr population below 10,000 overall, and below specific densities in areas with high ecological value.

"We follow the control criteria and, if numbers are exceeding the set number, then we do something about it," Bolton said.

To further help with controlling numbers, five-year permits were allocated to Aerial-Assisted Trophy Hunters this year.

The Timaru Herald