1080 to protect birds? Really?

Weka eating 1080 poisoned carcass

Weka eating 1080 poisoned carcass

Last week the Nick Smith said there is no evidence to suggest 1080 kills birds…I don’t know how he knows that but anyone who has been into a bush area after a 1080 drop will tell you that there are no birds, no sounds, nothing but death.

However now scientists are planning on boosting 1080 drops…to protect birds.

Scientists are supporting the Government’s plan to use targeted 1080 drops to protect native birds from an expected rat and stoat plague.

An abundance of beech seed this year is expected to cause a population explosion among stoats and rats in forests.

Under the “Battle for Our Birds” predator control programme, announced by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith last week, the Department of Conservation will treat up to an extra 500,000 hectares of conservation land with aerial 1080 application this year and next, should predator numbers increase.

The additional 1080 drop will increase the area of public conservation land treated for pests from 5 per cent to 12. The work is budgeted to cost $21 million over the next five years. DOC’s annual budget is $335m. ?

Landcare Research scientist Dr Andrea Byrom, who leads the invasive weeds, pests and diseases portfolio, said an increase of predation on native species was not the only effect of increases in stoat and rat populations.

“There is also the indirect impact of competition: the predators will chomp their way through the seeds, fruits and invertebrates that are food for native birds and lizards.”

University of Canterbury mathematician Associate Professor Alex James, who was involved in research modelling of high beech seed years, said “the planned 1080 drops are the best way to manage the predator outbreak”.

Without predators, native birds would flourish on the beech seed, she said.

I agree with 1080, especially in remote areas, however could we please have people tell the truth about the poison. The Department of Conservation routinely lies as well about 1080.

They claim they are targeting possum. This is false. DoC targets every non-native species with their drops. There are three strengths of 1080. Rabbit/Possum strength, Goat strength and Deer strength. I know from insiders that every drop made has a permit, and every permit says targetted species is possum and yet every drop is made with deer strength poison.

Then there are the birds. The scientists claim that 1080 doesn’t kill birds….they are wrong.

We need to manage pests. Trapping alone won;t do it, but carpet bombing forest and waterways isn’t the best way.

We need DoC and the various Regional authorities to start being honest about 1080. We need them to actually use poison strengths that match their target species and in the most part deer repellent should be added to baits.