A newly long-term study reveals kiwi chicks located in a North Island forest are more likely to survive following the aerial 1080 operation, where the poison is dropped, to control pests.
Conservation managers are bracing for the biggest seeding event in New Zealand's forests for more than 40 years. Forest seeding, or masting, provides a bonanza of food for native species but also fuels rodent and stoat plagues. The Department of Conservation (DoC) is now planning its biggest ever predator control programme, at a cost of $38 million. It will target rats, stoats and possums over about one million hectares or 12 per cent of conservation land. Priority sites include Kahurangi, Abel Tasman, Arthur's Pass, Westland, Mt Aspiring and Fiordland national parks, the Catlins and Whirinaki. More than 66,000ha will be covered with trapping – and the rest with aerial 1080 poison drops. Science reporter Jamie Morton spoke to DoC principal science advisor Dr Graeme Elliott about the challenge.
The Department of Conservation (DoC) has significantly increased its spending on finding alternatives to 1080.
Documents obtained by Newshub show since 2011, the trend in spending has jumped from $1.06 million a year to $3.55 million planned spend in 2018/19.
A widespread ‘mega-mast’ mass seeding event is likely to lead to a large plague of rats and stoats in New Zealand southern beech forests.
In response, the Department of Conservation (DOC) is aiming to control predators over an unprecedented one million hectares of conservation land, to protect vulnerable native species such as kaka, whio, mohua and orange-fronted parakeets.
Three hundred tahr are to be culled and fed to kea in an attempt to keep the endangered native parrots away from an aerial 1080 poison drop in the hills behind Whataroa.
Zero Invasive Predators (Zip) was last month granted permission from the Department of Conservation for intensive predator control in an attempt to eradicate possums and, potentially, rats, from about 12,000ha of rugged backcountry at the Perth River.
In an unexpected result, scientists encountered more deer in South Westland forest blocks after 1080 drops than before the drops.
They also encountered and saw the same numbers of deer in 1080 drop zones as they did in zones where 1080 was not dropped.
The Department of Conservation is attributing the reduction of rat numbers in the Mokaihaha Ecological Area, southwest of Rotorua, to a three-tonne 1080 aerial drop.
Native birds are thriving in Auckland's Hunua Ranges following a 1080 drop that has decimated the rat and possum population, Auckland Council says.
The aerial application of 1080 across 22,000 hectares of forest in late 2018 was conducted by the council in partnership with the Department of Conservation.
The question, just how much collateral damage does 1080 poison do, could soon be answered through a peer-reviewed study commissioned by the Marlborough branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association.
The SPCA has changed its stance on the use of 1080, only a month after it called for a ban on the pest-control poison.
Last month, the charity said it was "deeply concerned" over the use of 1080, and the use of poisons to kill animals due to the level of suffering they caused.