Need more deer cullers, large-scale pest control

LETTER

Re: Three pest control letters, February 27.

Brian Habberfield starts with “I see the usual unrealistic comments from people who dream it possible to hunt and trap this large-scale ecological crisis away . . .”

Rob Thompson writes “Yes, we need to stop being keyboard activists and get on board to support the iwi who are kaitiaki to the Raukumara Ranges.”

Forest & Bird agrees.

Then we have the juxtaposition of Neville du Fall doing both of those things!

I guess Neville would rather sound off in the newspaper than ask the Department of Conservation for some facts and insights as to what is happening. What has DoC done to reduce deer numbers? Well, for one thing Neville, you can go into any DoC office and apply for a hunting permit for a block.

Two companies were licensed by DoC for aerial venison recovery in the Raukumara area. As far as I’m aware, one pulled out and the other is working at a reduced level. Commercial venison recovery for human consumption or pet food is never going to control deer to anywhere near low enough levels to enable ecological recovery.

Has DoC advised recreational hunters of the “areas where ground hunting would be most productive”? I think you’ll find, Neville, that any hunter worth their salt will already know where these usually more accessible places are. Unfortunately recreational hunters have never had the skill levels, the inclination nor the numbers to control deer to very low levels. And why would they?

So we need more professional deer cullers plus other methods of large scale pest control and whether you like it or not, that means aerial 1080 to kill large numbers of possums, rats and stoats. 1080 has been used successfully to restore indigenous ecosystems in many parts of our country. The science and the results prove this and it should not be seen as a last resort.

As Brian writes “. . . go to the roadshow — with (your) ears on”. And Rob writes “What do you want in our Raukumara Ranges? Introduced animals or our native flora and fauna? . . . Help save our ngahere!”

I couldn’t agree more.

Grant Vincent, Chairman, Forest & Bird Gisborne Tairawhiti branch

Re: Three pest control letters, February 27.

Brian Habberfield starts with “I see the usual unrealistic comments from people who dream it possible to hunt and trap this large-scale ecological crisis away . . .”

Rob Thompson writes “Yes, we need to stop being keyboard activists and get on board to support the iwi who are kaitiaki to the Raukumara Ranges.”

Forest & Bird agrees.

Then we have the juxtaposition of Neville du Fall doing both of those things!

I guess Neville would rather sound off in the newspaper than ask the Department of Conservation for some facts and insights as to what is happening. What has DoC done to reduce deer numbers? Well, for one thing Neville, you can go into any DoC office and apply for a hunting permit for a block.

Two companies were licensed by DoC for aerial venison recovery in the Raukumara area. As far as I’m aware, one pulled out and the other is working at a reduced level. Commercial venison recovery for human consumption or pet food is never going to control deer to anywhere near low enough levels to enable ecological recovery.

Has DoC advised recreational hunters of the “areas where ground hunting would be most productive”? I think you’ll find, Neville, that any hunter worth their salt will already know where these usually more accessible places are. Unfortunately recreational hunters have never had the skill levels, the inclination nor the numbers to control deer to very low levels. And why would they?

So we need more professional deer cullers plus other methods of large scale pest control and whether you like it or not, that means aerial 1080 to kill large numbers of possums, rats and stoats. 1080 has been used successfully to restore indigenous ecosystems in many parts of our country. The science and the results prove this and it should not be seen as a last resort.

As Brian writes “. . . go to the roadshow — with (your) ears on”. And Rob writes “What do you want in our Raukumara Ranges? Introduced animals or our native flora and fauna? . . . Help save our ngahere!”

I couldn’t agree more.

Grant Vincent, Chairman, Forest & Bird Gisborne Tairawhiti branch

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David Haynes, Nelson - 2 months ago
As a former research scientist I must take issue with Mr Vincent's claim regarding the success of aerial 1080 "The science and results prove this..."

Good science seeks to challenge, to find faults in the hypothesis, to question everything. Scientific studies on the efficacy of 1080 merely seek to reinforce, not challenge, its continued usage. Yes, 1080 use has resulted in critical monitored bird species, such as kaka and kiwi, having successful fledges in the short-term (up to five years), but there are still huge gaps in understanding the impact on inverterbrates (one study), insectivores (eg lizards, ducks) and predatory birds (morepork, kingfisher, falcon, weka, etc) over the long-term.

Over 60 years of aerial toxin application has taught us that we are committed to its use in perpetuity - it does not eliminate rodents, possums and mustelids, merely dents their population temporarily. It is the opium of conservation.

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