In 1976, Omahaki feral sheep were reported to be found
around the confluence of the Ngaruroro and the Taruarau Rivers, in the Eastern
Ruahine State Forest, and on the Big Hill and Omahaki stations, New Zealand.
There appeared to be several hundred sheep spread over an area of some 7000
hectares of scrubland, screes and bluffs.
Scientist Tony Whitaker noted that the origin of this flock
was uncertain but it was known to have existed there for over fifty years. It
was probably the remnant of a much larger feral flock that had its beginning in
the Merino sheep that had been grazed on the open tops of the Ruahines in the
previous century. There were indications that the proportion of black sheep in
the Omahaki flock was increasing over the years.
Some Omahaki sheep have been brought out of the area, but
often they are run with the very similar Mohaka sheep – which has led to a
questioning of the purity of some individual animals.
Content and Photo Source: New
Zealand Rare Breeds (www.rarebreeds.co.nz