Go into a 1080-poisoned forest, see for yourself

LETTER

With regard to Grant Vincent’s comments on the benefits of 1080 poison. As a logging contractor and bushman for the past 35 years, I have seen my fair share of 1080 poison drops. Every year parts of the forest estate where I worked were systematically poisoned every three years.

In my experience this creates very low bird numbers, especially predatory birds like the falcon, morepork, weka and hawk. All these birds I have found poisoned after a 1080 poison drop.

1080 poison was first developed as an insecticide, so what effect does this have on the forest ecosystem as a whole? And then there’s the effect on poisoning our waterways which run down to our coastline.

New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, TBfree and many regional councils backed by Forest and Bird support the aerial use of 1080 poison which indiscriminately kills all creatures that breathe oxygen through a slow, painful death that can take some animals days.

Then there is the crusade to have New Zealand pest-free by 2050, which includes deer and pigs. If you hunt wild game to feed your family, as most of my workers do, be concerned as this will affect you!

As I have always said to people who ask me about the effects of 1080 poison — go into a forest which has been poisoned by 1080 and see for yourself. Listen if you can hear any birds, and you will notice the smell of death.

Mark Nyhoff

Pakiri Logging

Footnote response from Grant Vincent, Forest & Bird Gisborne branch chairman:

A bit more detail Mark, please, so we can have a more focused debate on 1080, introduced pests and indigenous ecosystems.

Which forests? What years? How many of the birds were sent for testing to see if death was caused by 1080? Were bird numbers already low because of 150-plus years of predation by possums, rats, stoats, cats etc?

In the 1970s and ’80s there were instances of bird deaths (for example at Pureora) because of poor-quality carrot baits. But, with vastly improved techniques since then — with cereal baits — well over 90 percent of the target pest species are killed (perhaps that’s where your “. . . smell of death” was coming from?), resulting in increased numbers of bird and invertebrate species and more forest growth. Once the pests stop eating birds, eggs, chicks, leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds and invertebrates, forest ecosystems recover.

1080 does not bioaccumulate. In water, studies have shown no detrimental effects — our waterways are not poisoned by 1080 in the few cereal baits that fall in them.

I think you’ll find that “Predator Free 2050” does not include deer or pigs, and that there are still plenty of them to go around.

There are more questions and answers but that will have to do for now.

With regard to Grant Vincent’s comments on the benefits of 1080 poison. As a logging contractor and bushman for the past 35 years, I have seen my fair share of 1080 poison drops. Every year parts of the forest estate where I worked were systematically poisoned every three years.

In my experience this creates very low bird numbers, especially predatory birds like the falcon, morepork, weka and hawk. All these birds I have found poisoned after a 1080 poison drop.

1080 poison was first developed as an insecticide, so what effect does this have on the forest ecosystem as a whole? And then there’s the effect on poisoning our waterways which run down to our coastline.

New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, TBfree and many regional councils backed by Forest and Bird support the aerial use of 1080 poison which indiscriminately kills all creatures that breathe oxygen through a slow, painful death that can take some animals days.

Then there is the crusade to have New Zealand pest-free by 2050, which includes deer and pigs. If you hunt wild game to feed your family, as most of my workers do, be concerned as this will affect you!

As I have always said to people who ask me about the effects of 1080 poison — go into a forest which has been poisoned by 1080 and see for yourself. Listen if you can hear any birds, and you will notice the smell of death.

Mark Nyhoff

Pakiri Logging

Footnote response from Grant Vincent, Forest & Bird Gisborne branch chairman:

A bit more detail Mark, please, so we can have a more focused debate on 1080, introduced pests and indigenous ecosystems.

Which forests? What years? How many of the birds were sent for testing to see if death was caused by 1080? Were bird numbers already low because of 150-plus years of predation by possums, rats, stoats, cats etc?

In the 1970s and ’80s there were instances of bird deaths (for example at Pureora) because of poor-quality carrot baits. But, with vastly improved techniques since then — with cereal baits — well over 90 percent of the target pest species are killed (perhaps that’s where your “. . . smell of death” was coming from?), resulting in increased numbers of bird and invertebrate species and more forest growth. Once the pests stop eating birds, eggs, chicks, leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds and invertebrates, forest ecosystems recover.

1080 does not bioaccumulate. In water, studies have shown no detrimental effects — our waterways are not poisoned by 1080 in the few cereal baits that fall in them.

I think you’ll find that “Predator Free 2050” does not include deer or pigs, and that there are still plenty of them to go around.

There are more questions and answers but that will have to do for now.

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lloyd gretton - 1 year ago
"I think you'll find it does not include deer or pigs," should be clarified. The ecological movement has an agenda to return the environment to a mythological pristine state before Captain Cook. But without the kiore.

David Edmunds, UK - 1 year ago
I used to be a scientist and looked at 1080 as NZ uses by far the most of this highly dangerous chemical in the world. It was banned in my country many years ago after one field trial - for good reason. I'm astounded by false and misleading information given out by NGOs using this poison. They infer it's natural - it most certainly is not - and that there is a biodegradable version; there can't be by definition of its chemical structure.

Andie Berg, Auckland - 1 year ago
To Mr Vincent, to vilify some animals, to try and desenstise the population especially children, does not detract from these animals dying horrific deaths. For or against 1080, natives or deemed pests, that's the bottom line and in this day and age in a country like ours, inhumane treatment of any animal is shameful and unacceptable.

Kevin Simpson - 1 year ago
Just like Mark, I have personally experienced the death of our native bird species in areas aerial-bombed by 1080. The reply by Grant Vincent is typical of those either part of the pro-1080 machine, or one of the many duped by the "paid-for" science and the heavily manipulated propaganda perpetrated by DoC and its contractors. There is an endless amount of independent science that can refute very single claim made about 1080 and Brodifacoum. IT IS ACCUMULATING IN OUR ECOSYSTEM AND WATERWAYS!!! Slowly poisoning all that use it, that's you and me!

Footnote from Ed: While 1080 is a nasty poison, for now it is the best option and is invaluable in the fight against pests in our native forests. The independent analysis of the science that proves this is contained in the two very detailed reports below by the highly-respected former Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright.

http://www.pce.parliament.nz/media/1294/evaluating-the-use-of-1080.pdf

http://www.pce.parliament.nz/media/1229/1080-update-report-web-2015.pdf

Clyde Graf, Hamilton - 1 year ago
Mr Vincent is clearly ignorant about aerial 1080 operations. With regard to his statement about waterways and the "few cereal baits that fall in them" - when the aerial poisoning operations are carried out the baits are dropped directly into all running waterways at the same rate as the land areas around them, in most aerial operations. Very few are avoided, if any. And the ones that are buffered, are all poisoned at their tributaries, so still contain the poison.

We are told that GPS is used (whatever that's meant to mean), but the GPS system is what ensures the baits are spread across all the waterways. (including into the waterways feeding into the Hunua Dams in the 2015 aerial operation, and again next year).

But don't take my word for it - look at the official toxin distribution charts for yourself. They show exactly where the baits are spread for each operation. To view a collection of recent toxin charts, including from the Hunua aerial operation, visit www.tvwild.co.nz/1080-poison/flight-charts The charts are presented, and show that in most operations all of the waterways are poisoned at the same rate as the land areas around them.

Just this year, state-owned-enterprise www.orillion.com stated in its 1080 poison warning label that just 2.5 standard cereal baits (12 grams per bait) can kill an adult human. Given that around 1 million hectares are now poisoned every year, at a rate of 2kg of bait per hectare, there is enough poison being spread across New Zealand's forests and waterways to kill over 60 million people every year. No wonder our waterways are in such a dire state. 1080 poison is a male reproductive toxin, phyto-toxic (toxic to plants), a broad-spectrum insecticide, and a potent pesticide without antidote.

We are only just starting to see the negative effects from spreading so much of this poison across our ecosystems. There will be broad-scale, and long-lasting consequences, that may persist for generations. In my opinion, the dishonesty of those that use and spread (and support) 1080 poison, is probably the greatest crime in this activity, but like in most cases of ecocide, no one is ever held accountable.

Elle Cooper, Hector, West Coast - 1 year ago
Grant Vincent,
You seem seriously out of touch with the realities of 1080 operations and their effects.

1. Buffers to the waterways were removed from our local consents without an assessment of environmental effects and drops are now allowed DIRECTLY into waterways. One of the rivers being one of the best trout rivers in the area (and twice drops have been done on top of people fishing in there and the registered concession holder guides were NOT warned)
2. We have drops done here outside of the optimum window. In 2015 we had a drop done in April, and we now have a drop scheduled for August this year which has now been moved to February next year!

Drops in this timeframe will have a negative impact on the bird population - try finding an egg or chick that was saved by the April drop, the drops will in fact reduce the bird population and save nothing!

Why are these drops done when they will cause the most harm to the bird populations? It seems saving the birds isn't the priority you would tell us all.

The bush around me has had a massive decline in birdlife during the last few yesars since these drops, yet the birldlife in our gardens is thriving This fact has been noticed by many tourists and visitors.

A Daily Reader - 1 year ago
There is absolutely an agenda to rid NZ of all mammals (except of course the millions of cows that spin so much $$$ for some of us. We'll just put our heads in the sand about the insane habitat loss, phosphates and pesticides, easier eh!)
There is no regard for the suffering of these animals as long as they die, "if it's not native kill it" is the catchphrase.
Mass, indiscriminate poisoning is abhorrent and should be treated as a crime. The first to go will be the kea, they have been struggling since the bounty days, followed by 1080 carrots, then the ongoing drops ever since.
It is a revolting practice and no amount of spin doctoring about it "being just like a cup of tea or salt and vinegar chips" will change that. (Such rubbish!)

flow in - 1 year ago
I did.
I went for a walk in a beautiful bit of forest outside Punakaiki. Two hours I walked, whistling my bell bird 'hello' to see who I could meet. Normally I'll get a response within minutes and they'll come and see who I am.
I didn't hear a single bird. No bellbirds, no tuis, no fat pigeons, not even a non native thrush or sparrow.
On the way out, as the sun set, the dusk chatter that normally fills a forest was conspicuous by its utter silence.
Three months before it had been 1080'd, of course.

Grant Paton, Paeroa - 1 year ago
Grant Vincent - did you read what you just said? You asked the forestry worker for more detail and you replied with an answer that defies all logic - detail! Amazing, incredibly amazing.

S. Williams - 1 year ago
Thank you Mark Nyhoff for telling the truth regarding 1080 poison.

Carl Scott, Auckland - 1 year ago
It's a shame that the only so-called scientific evidence that has been allowed to be published, and therefore setting precedence, has been paid for by the industry that uses this insane poison. If you removed the lies, corruption, extortion and manipulation by political dominance and control of the media you would be left with a truth that no New Zealander could stomach.

S. Williams - 1 year ago
Thank you Mark Nyhoff for telling the truth regarding 1080 poison and informing Gisborne Herald readers. The depth of ignorance about this poison, coupled with the rosy picture the authorities paint about this poison, is truly astounding for a clean, green country. As if by some magic, you can isolate/confine the damage this poison can do only to "pests". It is an indiscriminate, highly lethal poison that affects all the flora and fauna, including the native birds and also game many people use for food and our waterways and fish. The evidence on the ground is building up that this poison is not protecting birds, rather it is killing them alongside everything else in the environment - truly an ecocide. There are many documented cases of humans and pets also suffering from this poisoning. Stop Poisoning of NZ, with this failed, criminal activity. It is not working; the only ones benefiting are the 1080 manufacturers and the flying companies spreading it!

Alain JORION - 1 year ago
I would like a study by scientists on 1080 causing cancer and harmful effects to humans drinking contaminated water. This poison kills everything and does not simply disappear into nothing. Our wildlife is really pathetic when you compare the Australian outback with amazing wildlife such as parrots, lizards and beautiful birds such as rosellas so full of colour and plentiful. NZ is being recognised as two-faced by tourists. Clean and Green... Oh yeah? All other countries enjoy managed wildlife such as deer around the cities, bears, moose as well as all the African wildlife tourists pay millions to see such as on safari. What have we to show off? Kiwis come out at night, are rare, rarely seen and can't fly. Moas are all eaten and extinct. Keas are seen frequently because they are inquisitive and, like humans, like to show off - but they are endangered. Kereru are seen more in cities rather than out in the bush like it used to be. So sad. A visit to Australia's outback and national parks is easy. No 1080 there....Could that be because a natural balance ensures unwanted animals are reduced, naturally without 1080?

Mary Molloy, Farmers Against Ten Eighty - 1 year ago
I agree with Mark Nyhoff and my experience is much the same, dead is the most likely solution after 1080 poison drops, 1080 is in water in all areas that are dropped and it is near impossible to test for this as the chemical breakdown occurs in direct sunlight, still water and temps of 20-30 degress and then it is only the chemical bond broken.
It was found many years ago in the USA that a known quantity added to a drum of water could not be detected, more was added and still impossible to find it, that is when USA declared it a terrorist weapon, imagine an irresponsible cruel terrorist adding it to your water supply. We drop it all around NZ and it could easily be picked up and used into town supply, it is already in our rural supplies.
Very disappointed in the editor's comments, re best tool available, and the PCE report etc. these statement are countered by www.1080science.co.nz readily available to read , dear Ed. the whole DoC and Land care science and even Ministry of Health statement which contradicts many "safe in water statements".
Gisborne has remained the most 1080 free area of NZ , stay that way and ensure that your organic ventures are not threatened and your people are free from the 1080 contaminated water, dust and bush tucker and medicine.
Do not be suckered in to suffer the repeated 1080 operations those in the rest of the country have to suffer. Thank you Mark Nyhoff for bringing up this subject.

Graham Carter, Hamilton - 1 year ago
Grant Vincent is clearly living in another world when he says that deer and pigs are not targeted. Look at the Molesworth fiasco as just one example, where there are very few pests yet over 300 deer have been killed in open country.

Bridget, Marlborough - 1 year ago
Look up NZ UNDER ATTACK group on fb

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