As the ongoing aerial eradication policy of non-native sheep and goats causes rifts across the Big Island of Hawaii John Wilkes welcomes Tony Sylvester and Kanalu Sproat to The Whole Shebang for an update on America’s 50th state. What is the future for these free ranging sheep and goats? Listen to The Whole Shebang for answers.
Tony Sylvester, a fourth generation Hawaiian works in radio astronomy atop Maunakea on The Big Island. Tony is a former Chair of the Hawaii County Game Management Advisory Group and current Board Member of the Hunting, Farming and Fishing Association of Hawaii. Hunting, farming and fishing play a vital role in Tony’s everyday life. Game animals in Hawaiian culture serve as an important food resource. With increasing awareness of the uniqueness of these wild sheep and goats, Tony like many others believe Hawaii’s undomesticated livestock should be preserved for their genetic diversity.
Kanalu Sprout is a Wildlife Biologist for the State of Hawaii, Division of Forestry and Wildlife. He is native Hawaiian with both a B.S. and M.S. in Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where he studied Rocky Mountain and desert Bighorn Sheep at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Before assuming his current role Kanalu worked as a field technician and as Maui Axis Deer Program Coordinator. Scheduled work will begin soon to collar then satellite track 40 of Hawaii’s remaining free ranging heritage sheep for a mortality study. DNA sampling will look to hopefully define their origins.