Should DOC really be carpet bombing Taranaki with 1080?

The Department of Conservation is about to start carpet bombing Taranaki with 1080:

The Department of Conservation plans to carry out a 1080 poison drop in Egmont National Park in the next few weeks.

The drop will be co-ordinated with the efforts of a local trapper who has a permit to trap possums in the Kaitake Ranges in the park.

DOC said it was hoping the aerial operation, together with the trapper’s work, will avoid the need for another aerial drop planned in the ranges in several years.

The department said it was keen to work with community groups to help control introduced pests.

But in other news DoC admitting to slaughtering up to two dozen Kea with 1080 drops.

Drops of the controversial pest-control poison 1080 have killed at least two dozen endangered kea in recent years.

Documents released by the Department of Conservation under the Official Information Act reveal the deaths of 24 protected kea have been attributed to 1080 poisoning between May 2008 and November 2015.

DoC’s website estimates the bird’s population as between 1000 and 5000, with the Southern Alps the only place in the world where the alpine parrot can be found in the wild.

Kea are protected by law, with the Wildlife Act declaring a maximum fine of $100,000 or six months in prison for anyone convicted of killing one.

Pathology details released by DoC include observations of the digestive content of each dead bird and the number of days after 1080 application each death was recorded – ranging from one to 35 days.

Used to control a range of pests including possums, rats and stoats, 1080 is mixed into bait in an attempt to control pest numbers and help preserve native species. However, DoC information on 1080 acknowledges some birds – including kea and weka – are also attracted to the baits and can die as a result of eating them.

Josh Kemp, DoC science adviser, says the kea deaths are regrettable and represent “accidental bykill” from 1080 drops.

Whoopsy. Will DoC be fined?

The poison kills everything where it is dropped. Any hunter or bush person knows this. The eerie sound of silence in the areas where 1080 is dropped is awful. There are no birds, no deer, nothing but death.

When Sonny Tau was prosecuted for smuggling several dead Kereru i wondered when DoC was going to be prosecuted for killing Kereru themselves. Now there is evidence they are killing Kea with 1080.

I think DoC needs to re-think their 1080 strategy.


– NZ Herald