(BIVN) – Another round of aerial shooting targeting sheep and goats in order to remove the ungulates from critical palila habitat will occur this month.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife will conduct the animal control activities “specifically for trapping mouflon/feral sheep hybrids; staff hunting, and/or aerial shooting from helicopters for feral goats, feral sheep, mouflon and mouflon/feral sheep hybrids within palila critical habitat in the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve (Unit A), Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve (Unit K), Palila Mitigation Lands, and the Kaohe Game Management Area (Unit G) on the island of Hawai‘i.”
Public access to Mauna Kea Forest Reserve, Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve, Palila Mitigation Lands, the Ka‘ohe Game Management Area and Mauna Kea Hunter Access Road will be restricted during the hunts.
The dates for the hunts are as follows, DLNR says:
The next control dates are September 13 and 14, 2017. Public access to Mauna Kea Forest Reserve, Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve, Palila Mitigation Lands, the Ka‘ohe Game Management Area and Mauna Kea Hunter Access Road will be restricted and allowed BY PERMIT ONLY for animal salvage purposes on the following dates:
7 a.m. September 13, 2017
6 a.m. September 14, 2017
The Mauna Kea Observatory Road will remain open. The temporary closure is needed to minimize the dangers of incompatible uses in the forest area and safely conduct animal control activities. To implement the closure, both the Hale Pohaku and Kilohana gated entrances to Unit A and G and the gate behind Mauna Kea State Recreation Area will be locked/reopened as follows: Locked 7 p.m. September 12 and reopened 7 p.m. September 14, 2017
Copies of the map illustrating the area subject to aerial shooting on these dates are available for inspection at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife Office.
The public will again be allowed to salvage the carcasses of the animals, with conditions, the state says:
Due to high public participation, telephone call-ins to the DOFAW Kamuela Office at (808) 887-6063 for receiving salvage permits will be conducted from 9 a.m. August 2, 2017 to 10 a.m. the day before each shoot day.
One permit will be issued per call per vehicle for one day only. Applicants can have their names added to a stand-by list for additional days, should all slots not be filled by other applicants. No standbys waiting at the gates will be allowed access. The driver, occupants, vehicle license plate, and make/model of vehicle are needed when calling in. A maximum of 15 permitted vehicles will be allowed at the Pu‘u Ahumoa location and 15 permitted vehicles at the Pu‘u Mali location.
Carcasses taken during the shoot will be available to the permitted public for salvage at the following locations (4-wheel drive vehicle is required, and access permits will be issued). There is no guarantee that animals will be able to be salvaged.
Salvage locations are subject to change:
_ On September 13 at Pu‘u Ahumoa. Permittees must meet at Kilohana check-in station at 7 a.m. sharp.
_ On September 14, 2017 at Pu‘u Mali. Permittees must meet across from the Waimea Veterinary office on Mana Road at 6 a.m. sharp.
Contact the Division of Forestry and Wildlife in Hilo at (808) 974-4221 or in Kamuela at (808) 887-6063 for additional details regarding meat salvage or access permits.