State to resume shooting sheep from helicopter - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

State to resume shooting sheep from helicopter

BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Aerial sheep shooting on the Big Island is set to start again. The state will kill the sheep and goats in order to save an endangered bird.

Hunters are allowed up Mauna Kea to hunt virtually anytime and in 10 days hunting by helicopter will start again, although it's not without controversy.

The endangered palila bird is a type of finch. There are only 1,300 or so left. The bird lives off the indigenous mamane trees. However the State Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife says non-native sheep and goats also eat the trees. By law the bird must be protected which means the sheep have to go.

"The sheep have to be eradicated from the mountain because they're threatening the endangered palila bird up there," said Roger Imoto, DLNR Forestry and Wildlife Administrator.

Helicopter hunting is done around the world. In Hawaii sharpshooters with the state fly up Mauna Kea and kill the invasive animals. Then they let people come up and take the carcass for meat.

"Everybody has the misgiving that aerial shooting is like they see in the movies where the gunner is spraying bullets out of the helicopter and all that. It's not really done that way. The guys do actually get within 20 to 30 yards of the animal from the helicopter and shoot one at a time. Each animal is put down for sure they don't just spray bullets out of the helicopter at the animals," said Imoto.

"My reaction to the DLNR's intention to resume aerial shooting is one of concern," said J Yoshimoto, Hawaii County Council Chair.

There is plenty of opposition to the aerial hunting. So much so the Hawaii County Council unanimously passed a resolution banning the practice.

"I was persuaded by the testimony of the hunters that basically said that aerial shooting is detrimental to the palila birds and it's ironic because this is something they are trying to protect," said Yoshimoto. "We are disappointed because we're hoping the state would work with the county in trying to manage the hunting areas."

Opponents of the shooting say drought is hurting the birds and trees more than the sheep. And they argue thousands of sheep have been killed over the years yet it hasn't stopped the palila bird population from declining.

Still a federal judge says the state trumps the county and thus the aerial hunting will begin again starting July 15.

The state says plenty of people are interested in collecting the meat however only those with a permit will be allowed to in the area after the shooting to get the carcass.

For more information click here.

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

 

  • Hawaii News Now headlinesNewsMore>>

  • Shame, fear: Survivors explain not reporting sexual assaults

    Shame, fear: Survivors explain not reporting sexual assaults

    Friday, September 21 2018 6:20 PM EDT2018-09-21 22:20:29 GMT
    Saturday, September 22 2018 3:46 PM EDT2018-09-22 19:46:14 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2018 file photo, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington for the third day of his confirmation ...(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2018 file photo, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington for the third day of his confirmation ...
    Survivors respond with fury to Trump's remarks on woman who accused court nominee of sexual assault.More >>
    Survivors respond with fury to Trump's remarks on woman who accused court nominee of sexual assault.More >>
  • Victory for Kauai kumu hula after Japan court rules she may copyright her choreography

    Victory for Kauai kumu hula after Japan court rules she may copyright her choreography

    Saturday, September 22 2018 3:43 PM EDT2018-09-22 19:43:26 GMT
    Debate surrounding the copyrighting of hula led to a legal battle in a Japan court. (Image: Go Hawaii)Debate surrounding the copyrighting of hula led to a legal battle in a Japan court. (Image: Go Hawaii)

    During the four year legal battle, kumu hula Kapu Kinimaka-Alquiza of Hanapepe, Kauai danced in a Japan court to show that her hula choreography was original. 

    More >>

    During the four year legal battle, kumu hula Kapu Kinimaka-Alquiza of Hanapepe, Kauai danced in a Japan court to show that her hula choreography was original. 

    More >>
  • Landslide forces the closure of Manoa Falls Trail - and rattles nerves

    Landslide forces the closure of Manoa Falls Trail - and rattles nerves

    Saturday, September 22 2018 3:33 PM EDT2018-09-22 19:33:27 GMT
    A landslide has forced the closure of Manoa Falls Trail.A landslide has forced the closure of Manoa Falls Trail.

    The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources closed Manoa Falls Trail Friday evening after a 100 foot landslide brought down trees and boulders at the upper pool of the trail.  

    More >>

    The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources closed Manoa Falls Trail Friday evening after a 100 foot landslide brought down trees and boulders at the upper pool of the trail.  

    More >>
Powered by Frankly