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New Zealand Arapawa Goat Association

New Zealand Arapawa Goat Association

(Incorporating the International Arapawa Goat Association)

  Arapawa does at SVF Foundation
Arapawa does at SVF Foundation in the USA
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The New Zealand Arapawa Goat Association (NZAGA) is made up of a group of people from around the world who are passionate about the survival and welfare of this beautiful, critically at-risk breed of small goat.

Arapawa goats are considered by the American Livestock Conservancy to be one of the rarest goat breeds in the world. With fewer than 400 recorded world-wide, they are critically close to extinction. Isolated on the 75 square kilometre island of Arapawa in New Zealand’s Marlborough Sounds, there is historical evidence to support the claim the Arapawa goats are direct descendants of three breeding pairs released during Captain Cook’s second and third voyages to the Southern Ocean. On 23rd May 1773, Cook and Furneaux gave a doe and a buck to a group of Maori who resided at Grass Cove on Arapawa Island. Under the pretension of collecting antiscorbutic grasses, on 2nd June 1773 a second pair – a fertile doe and a young buck – were secreted into the dense bush of Arapawa Island’s East Bay by Cook, Furneaux and Georg Forster. A third pair, the doe already in kid, were given to a Maori chief on Cook’s final voyage to New Zealand on 25th February 1777. Observed by the first whalers when they arrived on Arapawa Island, the goats lived undisturbed on the Island for two hundred years. Because the goats were feral and genetically isolated over a long period, they reverted back to their ancestral phenotype. While microsatellite DNA analysis confirms they are a unique breed, their origin is yet to be proven through scientific evidence. What we do know is the Arapawa goats have no future on Arapawa Island. In the 1970s they came to the attention of the NZ Forest Service. Determining the goats were pests and destructive to the forest, an eradication programme commenced which continues today under New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DOC).

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No Ordinary Goat (book)  

New Zealand Arapawa Goat Association

Ma pango ma whero ka oti te mahi

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