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Animal Control Activities Scheduled for February

January 25, 2019, 8:58 AM HST (Updated January 25, 2019, 8:58 AM)
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Feral mouflon hybrid. NPS file photo.

The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will conduct animal control activities in February 2019 to trap mouflon/feral sheep hybrids and for 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 Ka‘ohe Game Management Area (Unit G) on the Island of Hawai’i.

Aerial shooting is required for compliance with a federal court order mandating the removal of sheep and goats from critical habitat for the endemic palila.

Control work is scheduled for Feb. 14 and 15, 2019. 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:

  • Feb. 14, 7 a.m.
  • Feb. 15, 6 a.m.

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 to safely conduct the 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 and reopened as follows:

  • Feb. 13, Locked at 7 p.m.
  • Feb. 15, Reopened at 7 p.m.
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Copies of a map illustrating the area subject to aerial shooting on these dates are available for inspection at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife Office in Kamuela.

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. Feb. 6 to 10 a.m. Feb. 13. 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. 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 Puu Ahumoa location and 15 permitted vehicles at the Puu Mali location.

Carcasses taken during the shoot will be available to the permitted public for salvage at the following locations (four-wheel drive vehicle are required, and access permits will be issued). There is no guarantee that animals will be able to be salvaged.

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Salvage locations are subject to change:

  • On Feb. 14, 2019 at Puu Ahumoa. Permittees must meet at Kilohana check-in station at 7 a.m. sharp.
  • On Feb. 15, 2019 at Puu 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.

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