Damon Rusden recognises some of the issues raised by those against the poison 1080, but argues most fears are misplaced, debunked and more at home in the fake news movement.
Two major 1080 operations intended to kill possums and rabbits in the Mackenzie Basin will be under way soon.
Ospri (formerly TBFree NZ) has contracted Excell Biosecurity to undertake a ground operation of more than 43,000 hectares in the Mackenzie Basin.
An aerial 1080 drop in the Ruahine ranges appears to have obliterated the rat and possum population.
The Department of Conservation carried out the 'Northern Ruahine Battle for our Birds operation' on November 13-15.
The date of the drop had been kept quiet as the department held fears staff could be threatened. Police had been notified about a DOC staff member being intimidated by a member of the public in Manawatū early last month after the operation had been announced.
Aerial predator control is under way for the southern boundary of the Hauraki District.
An area of 6300ha of public conservation land in the Otahu catchment near Whiritoa will have a 1080 operation.
Starting this month, the aerial pest control is part of the government's nationwide 'Battle for our Birds' 1080 operation.
Otahu is largely forested, and drained by the Otahu River and tributaries to the Otahu estuary, which covers about 110ha providing significant vegetation and wildlife habitat.
Millions of dollars have been spent killing pests in Greater Wellington forests to give native wildlife a chance and keep TB at bay, but has it been worth it? Piers Fuller reports.
The threat posed by rats, stoats and possums to our bird species is "significant and urgent" and the battle continues to quietly rage in forests large and small around the greater Wellington region.
Over the past decade hundreds of tonnes of the controversial poison bait 1080 have been dropped in the Tararua, Aorangi and Remutaka ranges in an effort to push back a tide of pests, but the advent of new technology is making ground trapping a more attractive option.
Letting rats live a little longer by ceasing to poison and trap them proved a killer move by the Bream Head Conservation Trust.
The successful predator removal scheme involved ceasing the regular poison - not laying for a few months so rats lost their wariness about it, letting them breed up in numbers, then hitting them with a ground-laid 1080 bomb.
It was a double whammy because then stoats ate the rats that ate the poison and died too.
The result of the major operation that started in April was very satisfying, according to head ranger Adam Willetts.
An aerial 1080 drop over 30,000 hectares in the Northern Ruahine Ranges will take place this Spring to battle an expected surge in predator numbers.
Every 2-6 years beech trees flower and produce massive quantities of seed, in an event known as a 'mast', and sampling by the Department of Conservation in February confirmed a mast was occurring in the Northern Ruahine Ranges this year.
The operation will begin after September 6, as weather permits, and will see cereal baits containing biodegradable sodium fluoroacetate, known as 1080, dropped over 30,000ha.
The Dunedin City Council will be taking a ''highly cautious'' approach during a 1080 drop in an area used as a back-up treated water supply.
The council announced yesterday it had approved a request from Ospri to undertake pest control on council land in the Silverstream catchment next month.
The council said its cautious approach to the drop included not taking water from the catchment while 1080 was present, closing tracks for 15 days, and not allowing dogs in the area for up to a year.
An aerial application of non-toxic baits has begun ahead of an aerial 1080 operation in the Kahurangi National Park.
Department of Conservation communications advisor Trish Grant said non-toxic baits had been distributed across 74,600 hectares of Kahurangi National Park in the Parapara and Gouland Downs operational blocks on Wednesday.
The Government's use of 1080 poison has long drawn angry protest from opponents, who push a range of scientific claims about its efficiency and danger. In his new book, Protecting Paradise, science writer Dave Hansford scrutinises each of the claims - and concludes 1080 isn't the evil it's so often painted as. He talked to Herald science reporter Jamie Morton.
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