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Army to open Big Island training area to hunters

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The Army will open portions of Pohakuloa Training Area to hunters during the next two weekends in an effort to eliminate the wild goat and sheep population in conservation areas.

Licensed hunters will be given access to PTA beginning at 5 a.m. tomorrow. Hunter check-in stations will be the Huluhulu station on the east side of PTA, and the Kilohana station on the west side of PTA.

There hunters will receive maps detailing approved access areas, travel routes and hunting areas on the installation and other information.

Hunters are being encouraged to monitor the PTA Hunter’s Hotline at 969-3474 for specific information.

“At PTA we have 15 species of federally protected plants, and four species of animals, and 17 bird species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act,” said Dr. Peter Peshut, a biologist with the PTA Natural Resources Office. “All of these protected species, as well as native plants and animals in general, require an intact native habitat to survive.”

Wild goats and sheep “are the primary threat to habitat conservation efforts in Hawaii,” he said.

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