This hardy, feral breed of goat was developed through geographic isolation on Arapawa Island, in the Marlborough Sounds off the coast of New Zealand. It is a dual-purpose goat believed to be genetically related to the Old English goat.
Bucks tend to be short and stocky while does are slender and fine-boned. Both sexes are horned, but color patterns vary widely between individuals – from solid tan, black, white and red to intricate belted, striped or point colorations. The Arapawa’s coat length ranges from smooth to long and shaggy.
Recent controversy over the culling of these goats on Arapawa Island has generated interest in the conservation of this rare breed. The Livestock Breeds Conservancy lists the Arapawa goat as critically endangered. Though small herds are spread around the globe (New Zealand, the UK and USA), there are only a few hundred goats remaining today.
Arapawa Breeder Profile
Al Caldwell has been working with the critically endangered Arapawa goats for over a decade. In collaboration with Plimoth Plantation, Al was responsible for importing valuable genetics from Arapawa Island, New Zealand. That frozen semen has been successfully used in artificial insemination, providing a valuable new bloodline to the small population of Arapawas in America. Al is currently in charge of the USA Arapawa Goat Breeders Association and handles all registration paperwork. He and his wife Joan raise these hardy goats on their beautiful farm in Rehoboth, MA, and sell breeding stock to other Arapawa breeders. They have provided several does and two bucks to SVF Foundation for use in our germplasm preservation program.