Pests killed, not natives

LETTER

A few days ago at Tutira I saw a ute with a slogan on it “Fu#k 1080”.

As they drove past the turn-off to Boundary Stream Scenic Reserve I doubt that they pondered the irony or irrelevance of that unfortunate slogan.

In about 1996 there was an aerial 1080 operation there for an initial knockdown of pests. Since then pest numbers have been kept very low with ground-based methods, but that initial aerial operation was essential to kill large numbers of pests before the ground control commenced.

Local landowners assist with trapping on surrounding farmland and OSPRI carries out aerial 1080 operations on nearby native forest to control possums so as to limit the spread of bovine Tb.

The indigenous flora and fauna there have recovered — kaka, kokako, rifleman, robins, insects and other invertebrates are all thriving.

The pests were killed by the aerial 1080 operation, not the native wildlife.

There is a dawn chorus there that you won’t hear in most other places. I’ve seen kaka there at an arm’s length and this was not in an aviary cage.

For anyone not sure about the benefits of aerial 1080 I’d recommend a visit, you won’t be disappointed.

Grant Vincent,Chairman, Forest & Bird Gisborne branch

A few days ago at Tutira I saw a ute with a slogan on it “Fu#k 1080”.

As they drove past the turn-off to Boundary Stream Scenic Reserve I doubt that they pondered the irony or irrelevance of that unfortunate slogan.

In about 1996 there was an aerial 1080 operation there for an initial knockdown of pests. Since then pest numbers have been kept very low with ground-based methods, but that initial aerial operation was essential to kill large numbers of pests before the ground control commenced.

Local landowners assist with trapping on surrounding farmland and OSPRI carries out aerial 1080 operations on nearby native forest to control possums so as to limit the spread of bovine Tb.

The indigenous flora and fauna there have recovered — kaka, kokako, rifleman, robins, insects and other invertebrates are all thriving.

The pests were killed by the aerial 1080 operation, not the native wildlife.

There is a dawn chorus there that you won’t hear in most other places. I’ve seen kaka there at an arm’s length and this was not in an aviary cage.

For anyone not sure about the benefits of aerial 1080 I’d recommend a visit, you won’t be disappointed.

Grant Vincent,Chairman, Forest & Bird Gisborne branch

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S.Williams - 10 days ago
"DoC has a very long history of poisoning kea. Aerial poisoning with food baits laced with sodium monofluoroacetate ('1080') was found to be killing kea more than 50 years ago and the species is now on the brink of extinction. Although the government has made no attempt to formally assess numbers, some estimates in 1986 and 1992 were already as low as 1000 birds. There may be very few kea left. Complete absences are being reported in areas of human activity (tramping huts, ski fields, car parks) where they have traditionally gathered.
"In DoC studies over the last decade, an average of 12 percent of marked kea have been reported dead immediately after aerial 1080 poisoning, with a range up to 78 percent. Now that DoC are embarking on even more intensive, more extensive 1080 poisoning, there seems to be little hope for the species' survival in the wild."
Source: With a long history of poisoning Kea, DoC is set to finish off what remains - Dr Jo Pollard (1080)
https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/with-a-long-history-of-poisoning-kea-doc-is-set-to-finish-off-what-remains-dr-jo-pollard/

S.Williams - 10 days ago
"Bill Benfield, author and conservationist, said New Zealand had wrongly built up a pest management industry based on the false belief that possum spread bovine Tb."
"New Zealand is Tb-free by world yardsticks but even today OSPRI spins the line about the bovine Tb threat," he said.
Bill Benfield explained the world standard for a country to declare "Tb free" is 0.2% for Tb infected herds and 0.1% for infected cattle.
"Recent information obtained by NZ First MP Richard Prosser showed New Zealand rates of Tb infection in cattle were slight, i.e. 0.0019 percent average over the last nine years. It is so far below that required by world standards for a Tb free declaration "that New Zealand must be one of the world's most Tb-free countries".
Bill Benfield said it raised the question whether OSPRI had a continuing role in New Zealand's agriculture.
OSPRI - An Empire Built on a Fallacy
By: Bill Benfield
https://m.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1609/S00154/ospri-an-empire-built-on-a-fallacy.htm

S.Williams - 10 days ago
The Startling Truth: "No known epidemiological studies for potential adverse health effects of 1080 on humans" and yet DOC continues to drop it into our waterways
https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/the-startling-truth-no-known-epidemiological-studies-for-potential-adverse-health-effects-of-1080-on-humans-and-yet-doc-continues-to-drop-it-into-our-waterways/

S.Williams - 10 days ago
Pukaha - Mt Bruce - 49 Dead Kiwi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGTVaTATbOg

S.Williams - 10 days ago
Hungry Bees 1080 Poison Risk to New Zealand Honey Says DoC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQVj1mcBEPw

S.Williams - 10 days ago
"The Forest and Bird Society fears that 1080 poison drops may threaten the survival of kaka, kakariki (parakeets), native bats and the already dwindling kokako. Urgent DOC trials at Kapiti Island showed a kaka consumed enough coloured bait to kill it. The Society wants further scientific research done into the effects of 1080 poison drops on native bird life and a ban on the use of 1080 baits in areas inhabited by rare and dwindling species.
Forest and Bird now believes that no air drops of either pollard or carrots should go ahead in kaka areas and there should be in future, a ban on 1080 in National Park areas. The uncontrolled dropping of 1080 in our forests is a threat to our endangered species. More research must be done. Please stop this practice."
"Laurie Collins said scientific evidence against 1080 in the last 10 years had mounted with such research showing rat numbers exploded after 1080, kea losses from 1080 were high and possums had been wrongly blamed for bovine Tb outbreaks." Source: Forest and Bird's 1080 Flip-Flop
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1807/S00356/forest-and-birds-1080-flip-flop.htm

Grant Vincent, Chair, Forest - 7 days ago
Wow, Simin Williams has been very busy searching out comments from people and sources which don't seem to have much understanding of the complex relationships between introduced pests and indigenous wildlife.
This is a real scatter gun effect that I haven't time to cover now except for the quotes about Forest and Bird concerns about 1080 threatening the survival of kaka etc seeing as I probably know a little more about Forest and Bird than S. Williams.

The quote about Forest and Bird wanting a halt to 1080 drops in kaka areas dates from 1993. A lot has changed since then. Carrot baits are seldom used anymore (sometimes if rabbits are the target) and dosing rates are nowhere near as high. These were the two main causes of problems with by-kill in the 1970s and 1993 which was why we were so concerned back then.

The updated and current methods are why Forest and Bird continues to support the aerial use of 1080 for pest control. Not a "flip-flop" as dramatised by Simin Williams. As I've written above, that was in 1993, 25 years ago.

Laurie Collins is a hunter, so he has a vested interest in not wanting to see reductions in populations of game animals such as deer but more about that later, except to say that scientific evidence has not mounted against 1080 and where it is used is why indigenous species are surviving the pest onslaught despite what the S. Williams quotes would have you believe.

Grant Vincent, Chair, Forest - 6 days ago
Regarding the S. Williams quote from Jo Pollard about the poisoning of kea where some totally unfounded conclusion is reached that the Department of Conservation (DoC) is going to cause the extinction of kea because of their pest control methods and the use of 1080. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Between 2008 and 2011, 24 kea (from 199 radio-tagged birds) died from eating 1080 baits. This is where the 12 percent mortality figure comes from. I've no idea where the 78 percent figure comes from but I'll try to find out.

What we do know though is that after an aerial 1080 operation at Okarito stoats were reduced to zero, enabling kea to have 100 percent nesting success for that breeding season and 69 percent the next, easily replacing the eight birds that died from eating baits. Not far away near Fox Glacier with no pest control kea nesting success was 38 percent and then 1 percent.

In 2012 it was estimated that the kea population might be 6,000. Remembering that with a bounty as high as one pound per beak, about 150,000 kea were shot between 1860 and 1970 and some kea have been shot and killed even in this century.

This is a complex issue but without pest control, including aerial 1080, the future for kea would be dire. DoC deserves support for their difficult work at protecting our indigenous flora and fauna rather than undeserved criticism (and yes, Forest and Bird has issues with DoC from time to time) and undermining of their work through misrepresentation of the facts around 1080.

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