Possum numbers in the West Coast's Perth River Valley area have potentially reduced from roughly 10,000 to just 30 after a new technique was used in a 1080 operation.
Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP) is in charge of the operation in the Perth River Valley area in South Westland. The operation is halfway through and has involved the deployment of 4 kilograms of 1080 per hectare so far.
Twenty-one years of intensive pest control in the Landsborough Valley is paying off. David Williams reports.
Colin O’Donnell ambles towards the edge of silver beech forest near the Landsborough River, drawn by the high-pitched, repetitive call of a mohua. It’s a call the Department of Conservation ecologist has been following for more than 30 years.
An aerial drop of 1080 is set for a large area of the Kahurangi National Park to control a booming rat population.
This year's beech mast, or heavy seed production, is expected to lead to a heavy breeding season for rats taking advantage of the abundant food source.
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.