Thirteen tahr (thar) were introduced near Aoraki/Mt Cook in 1904 for recreational hunting. They thrived in the alpine environment, and numbers rocketed. But they damaged the native plants, especially tussock and herbs such as the Mt Cook lily. Recreational and commercial hunting has kept the population to about 8,000. Restricted mostly to the alpine areas of Canterbury and the West Coast, tahr have been stopped from spreading further south than Lake Hāwea.
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