Ospri (formerly TBFree NZ) has contracted Excell Biosecurity to undertake a ground operation of more than 43,000 hectares in the Mackenzie Basin.
Ospri spokesman Oliver Bates said considering the terrain and location of the operations, ground control was deemed the most suitable method.
"In the Southern South Island there are 12 Vector Control Zones that are 35,000ha or greater. The largest is over 100,000ha. The South Canterbury operations tend to be large because the topography and habitat are similar over large geographical areas," he said.
Possum habitats would be targeted using Feratox cyanide capsules and 1080 cereal pellets.
According to Ospri's fact sheet, there is large vegetation cover in the area consisting of shelterbelts, scrub, matagouri, areas of exotic forest plantations and native bush patches with varying degrees of density and significant areas of tussock interspersed with rocky outcrops, scree and some small bluff systems.
Aoraki Conservation Board chairman Mick Abbott said while 1080 wasn't perfect, it was the best available option to help restore the country's native bird life.
"These are desperate times for many of our native bird species, and while the doors are open for other means of predator control, 1080 is proven to have done the job in the past," he said.
"As a board we are fully committed to restoring our native biodiversity, and so we must continue with these operations."
The 1080 operation will be done in conjunction with a major trapping programme targeted at catching possums and other predators.
"The public is warned to take care in these areas and not to remove carcasses or baits. Baits are dangerous to people and dogs," Ospri's fact sheet says.
Ospri would not give details as to how much the operation, which will take place from now until October, would cost.
Meanwhile, the Department of Conservation is planning an operation using the pesticide pindone, which will be aerially applied in an area of Crown land at Patersons Terrace and the adjoining Irishman Creek Conservation Area, as well as the Maryburn Conservation Area.
"Rabbits are being controlled to prevent the browse of threatened plant species and soil erosion and reduce predator populations (mustelids and feral cats), to protect native birds and other species. The operation is being planned for early winter," DOC spokeswoman Fiona Oliphant said.
"DOC has notified adjoining landowners and will be publicly notifying this operation next week."