SIKA Science and Sustainability

Published: Wed 31 Aug 2011 01:39 PM
31 August 2011
For immediate use
SIKA Science and Sustainability
The SIKA Show, held every year in Taupo, is a competition, the largest trade show of its kind in Australasia and a platform for science, conservation and wild animal management.
Event director, Mark Bridgman wants hunters to appreciate the role they play in wildlife management.
“To get useful information you need to collect from a broad range of data,” he says.
“This means that all entries to the SIKA Show are valuable for providing detail to wildlife managers that will eventually feedback to hunting.”
Jaws, collected from Sika deer, tell an incredible story. Deer growth is directly related to nutrition and by studying the animal’s jaw; hunters and herd managers get an insight into the quality of its habitat. The jaw bone is the most easily removed and provides an accurate assessment of both the animal’s age and its relative state of health.
Information on a Sika deer tracking programme will be available at the SIKA Show. The programme was introduced last year on Poronui NZ, a 6000 acre block east of Taupo. 15 Sika stags were fitted with radio tracking collars and twice a month the stags are tracked and their movements plotted on GIS.
The annual SIKA Show is on at Taupō’s Event Centre on October 15 and 16 and while the focus is on hunting paraphernalia and the Sika competition itself, wildlife managers want hunters to take a direct role in protecting the long-term sustainability of hunting in the central North Island.
Sika deer were successfully introduced to New Zealand in 1905. They’re smaller and more difficult to hunt than red deer which makes Sika trophies highly valued.

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