NZDA Donates 4x Sika Tracking Collars to The Sika Foundation

NZDA Research Grant Funds Tracking Collars

14 March 2024

The New Zealand Deerstalkers Association (NZDA) takes immense pride in announcing its $20,500 grant to the Sika Foundation to fund Sika Spiker Satellite Radio Tracking Collars. This initiative will see three collars funded directly by the NZDA and an additional fourth $6,000 collar supported by the efforts and generosity of the NZDA Auckland Branch members, resulting in a total of four collars funded by NZDA.

"This is a substantial contribution to the Sika Foundation's research on sika deer," said Richard Wells, NZDA's Research Fund lead on the NZDA Board. This initiative underscores our unwavering commitment to conservation, wildlife management, and the advancement of scientific knowledge concerning big game animals."

Every year, the NZDA receives applications for research grant funding related to New Zealand's big game animals. Our members' annual membership fee includes a 'Research Levy' component, currently $2.00 per member. These funds are then applied to worthwhile research causes that align with NZDA's values and purpose

Richard Wells notes, "In reviewing the Sika Foundation's application, it was immediately apparent the profound impact this research could have on our understanding of sika deer behaviours and, by extension, on our conservation efforts."

"The dedication and thoroughness of the proposal were compelling. I took great pride in guiding this application through to board approval, recognising the potential for this project to enhance our collective hunter stewardship of the Kaimanawa and Kaweka forest parks.", said Wells.

This grant not only aligns with the NZDA's commitment to conservation and responsible hunting but also paves the way for future collaborations that can further our understanding and preservation of New Zealand's unique wildlife. It's a significant step forward in our mission to balance hunting activities with ecological sustainability.

Cam Haliday, President of the NZDA Auckland Branch, shares, "The decision to support the Sika Foundation's research reflects our deep appreciation for the sika herd by our branch members—a special place and herd for Auckland hunters. Our members, recognising the importance of this initiative, rallied together to fund one of the tracking collars through donations and club funding. We eagerly anticipate the insights this research will offer."

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Study Brief: Understanding Young Sika Stag Dispersal

The focus of the funded research is to investigate the dispersal behaviors of young sika stags within the central North Island, aiming at the heart of sustainability and herd management. This study will offer insights crucial for balancing the needs of the sika deer population with the health of forest ecosystems, ensuring economic, cultural, hunting and environmental benefits.

Name the Sika Deer Challenge - Check out our Facebook

In an exciting opportunity, the Sika Foundation are offering NZDA members the unique opportunity to be part of this research by naming the sika stag spikers involved in the study that are funded by the NZDA grant.

We invite our members to suggest names on the NZDA's Facebook page. The three names garnering the most likes—provided they are not offensive—will be chosen to christen these remarkable animals. Keep an eye out for this challenge on our social media platforms, and let your creativity shine as we celebrate our collective effort in conservation.

Collaborative Conservation Efforts

This project exemplifies the strength of our community and the power of collaboration in advancing conservation efforts. The additional collar funded by the Auckland Branch underscores the shared vision and dedication of our members towards sustainable hunting practices and wildlife management.

The NZDA remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting initiatives that resonate with our values of conservation and responsible hunting. Through our partnership with the Sika Foundation, we aspire to contribute valuable data and insights critical for the ongoing preservation of our natural heritage.

Stay updated on this initiative and more by visiting and 

Together, we are making strides in wildlife management and conservation, ensuring the prosperity of our ecosystems for future generations.

NZDA applauds the Sika Foundation's vision to understand the project - well done, and good luck. 

Name our Research Sika Stags! Click the image above to have your say and vote now.

For media enquiries and further information, please contact:

Gwyn Thurlow

Chief Executive Officer, New Zealand Deerstalkers Association

Phone: 027 4060 060



About New Zealand Deerstalkers Association Inc (NZDA):

The New Zealand Deerstalkers Association is the national body representing recreational hunters, aiming to protect, advance, and advocate for the rights of hunters and shooting enthusiasts in New Zealand. We are committed to promoting safe and ethical hunting practices, educating hunters, promoting native flora and fauna, and ensuring access to outdoor recreational opportunities for all New Zealanders. To learn more about NZDA, please visit


About Game Animals:


Game animals are deer, tahr, chamois and wild pigs as defined in the Game Animal Council Act. These have also been classified as valued introduced species in Te Mana o te Taiao – Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy 2020, which states that, reaching a balance to ensure that valued introduced species continue to provide the benefits they are valued for, while also ensuring that indigenous biodiversity thrives, is a key challenge for Aotearoa New Zealand.

NZDA is the national body in New Zealand representing and advocating on behalf of recreational hunters.

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