New Zealand Journal of Agriculture 80 : 133-144. In McClintock, A. H. Ed. Here live the lucky sheep who produce the high quality wool. 607p. In 1894 a grazing lease was taken up and in the following year sheep were landed on the island. 6.VI. Indeed the New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator reports five ships landing sheep within a fortnight in 1841 (File Note dated 11.3.1964, Turnbull Library). Our Pihepe run free across the hill country at Lucas Bay and Ataahua on Banks Peninsula. Hunt cautiously and expect to see sheep actively feeding at any time of the day. Female = ewe. Horns: Both sexes may carry horns. Wilson, P. R., Orwin, D. F. G. 1964: The sheep population of Campbell Island. Soon more animals from Great Britain and Australia joined. The sheep introduced during this period were almost entirely from Australia and were predominantly merino. In the early 18th century the first sheep arrived with British settlers. Nowhere else on earth can you find so much contrast in topography and breathtaking natural beauty. Stevens, P. G. 1966: Sheep farming. In New Zealand, there is no seasonal restriction to hunting feral sheep meaning generally they can be hunted throughout the year. Mohaka Valley: Fragmented flock mostly on private property some in Kaweka Forest Park. Feral sheep on Arapawa Island (Photo by Betty Rowe) New Zealand has no native wild land mammals but with the advent of European settlement a steady stream of animals was introduced, starting with Cook's visits in the 1770s and continuing until this day. The feral sheep flocks were gradually reduced to the more inaccessible areas, though they received a boost in the Depression when many isolated farms were abandoned. Areas occupied usually contain rough pasture and shelter in the form of broken scrub or forest. Feral sheep were reported from the Chathams in 1900, Kapiti in 1919, and in 1922 were said to be "still abundant in the wilder parts of the country... especially... Marlborough" (Thomson 1922). New Zealand has 12 feral sheep populations either on the mainland, or on offshore islands. The present sheep are recognised as being quarter to half-bred merino longwool cross with the longwool component variously described as Lincoln, Leicester or Romney. There is no suggestion of cross-breeding with domestic stock and apparently no other conflict of interest. Soon more animals from Great Britain and Australia joined. The Wairau group is the smallest and of doubtful antiquity. The green pasture and general landscape of New Zealand offer outstanding conditions for farming. There are however, instances where restrictions apply for specific reasons and periods when hunting is favoured. Outside breeding season rams may form groups. Marlborough, as stated earlier, has long been a stronghold of feral sheep. Ovis is a genus of mammals, part of the Caprinae subfamily of the ruminant family Bovidae. By the l880s "wild" sheep had become common in the mountainous districts of the South Island (Thomson 1922), in Hawkes Bay (Guthrie-Smith 1953), and doubtless elsewhere in the country. However they were so isolated that their health and parasite status could have been extremely interesting. Females and their young stay together as a pair while males in the non-breeding season may form small groups. But it's … All the truly feral sheep seem to be of merino origin or contain a high proportion of merino blood. Nowadays flocks of feral sheep with clearly self-maintaining populations exist at about a dozen places on the mainland from Hawkes Bay to Southland, and on the out-lying islands of Campbell and Chatham. It is possible the present sheep stem from this early liberation but at least it is certain they have been living wild for over 70 years. Reproduction: Breeding can cover a long period peaking in June and July. During the summer they face temperatures above 30 degrees and during the winter months they must endure frost, snow, and freezing wind, particularly in the Southern Alps. Howard, W. E. 1965: Control of Introduced Mammals in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Science 13 (1) : 78-88. Waianakarua River Valley: Hunting available in Waianakarua Scenic Reserve, coastal Otago north of Catlins. The first of these, referred to as the Omahaki flock, occurs around the confluence of the Ngaruroro and Taruarau Rivers in the Eastern Ruahine State Forest and on Big Hill and Omahaki stations. Wodzicki, K. A. Two of the flocks (Arapawa and Pitt) have a remarkably high proportion of pigmented animals (over 90%) and there are indications that in the Omahaki flock the proportion of blacks is increasing. They are almost certainly derived from Australian merinos taken to the island from the Wairau Valley late last century. In one area where only six years ago it was possible to see mobs of 10-12, feral sheep are now 'rare' (A. N. Gilmore, in litt. Population estimates vary widely but there appear to be several hundred animals. DOC permit required. McNab, R. 1913: The Old Whaling Days. 1975). They were then imported to Africa and Europe via … Official shooting, aimed at reducing the browsing pressure on unstable country, reveals tallies which have dropped in the last decade from 300/annum to about 40/annum at present (A. N. Gilmore, in litt. Twins are rare in wild populations. The history of the domestic sheep goes back to between 11000 and 9000 BCE, and the domestication of the wild mouflon in ancient Mesopotamia. Numbers in this area are apparently diminishing but the reason is not official control so much as habitat destruction - the land is being developed for farming.