Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has released a new ungulate management plan that includes fencing and both lethal and nonlethal techniques.
Removal of ungulates, or hoofed animals, is a goal for the park because of their impact on native and endangered species.
As many as 20,000 goats were thought to have been wandering the park in large herds in the early 1900s, said Rhonda Loh, park natural resources chief.
Sheep now make up the largest ungulate population, with “several hundred” estimated in the Kahuku area of the park, she said.
An unknown, but likely small, number of pigs and goats inhabit the park.
“A systematic effort of controlling, removing the animals in combination with fencing, has proved to be an effective strategy,” Loh said.
Eradication efforts have continued and the new management plan is meant to update procedures that may be as much as 30 years old.
Shooting, from both ground and air, will continue while fencing will be expanded to cover the Kahuku unit, which includes much of the southwest flank of Mauna Loa, and Olaa rainforest.
Under the plan, the park will attempt trapping and removing animals.
The document also allows for carcasses to be donated for consumption for the first time.
Additional eradication techniques, such as use of bait stations to attract larger groups, and infrared technology may be used.
The park is also aiming to take a “systematic approach” that helps plan for the next three decades, she said.
“You can’t just rely on institutional knowledge of staff,” Loh said. “You want this document to take us forward.”