Where are the Greens when you need them?

DoC are the biggest proponents of 1080, and with reason I can understand that for possum control.

They are however zealots and would like to carpet bomb the whole country to kill every animal in the bush, including goats, pigs and deer. This is the reason they drop only deer strength 1080 and refuse to put repellent on the bait despite stating on every single permit that the targeted species is possum.

They love 1080 but now they are killers.

The Department of Conservation says five out of 39 monitored kea have died of poisoning during the first field study using a bird repellent in an aerial 1080 operation near Otira.

DOC has been trialling repellents after a number of kea deaths from 1080 poisoning. In 2008 seven died in the Franz Josef and Fox Glacier area, and in 2011 seven more died at Okarito. 

DOC said today results from the recent Otira trial were “disappointing”.

Technical adviser threats Michelle Crowell said losing five birds was “naturally disappointing”.

Disappointing? Real disappointing for the Kea…they wouldn’t be dead of it wasn’t for 1080 and it was DoC that killed them.

I wonder perhaps if they will be prosecuting themselves for killing native bird life.


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  • niggly

    Perhaps the legislation for DOC needs amending to provide half-yearly public reports and tally’s of all the maimed wildlife (and dogs accompanying hunters and day-walkers etc) in addition to possums, for the public to gauge its effectiveness (that of 1080).

    Where are Labour/Greens/Law Society/Anne Salmond etc to raise public awareness of these important issues to everyday NZers? Oh wait…

    • Poisoning of day-walkers now, that is taking it too far picking on gingers.

    • kehua

      Nig, if you are dumb enough to take a dog anywhere where 1080 has been used you must accept responsibility if you lose your dog. I lost a top huntaway to 1080 when he picked up some possum gut presumably dropped by a hawk about 800 metres from a poisoned gully. Fluke occurence but I undestimated the risk, my fault no one elses.

      • niggly

        Hi Kehua, totally agree and to be clear I’m kinda neutral on this issue (eg can understand the importance of 1080 to control possums but wonder about the hypocrisy of the Green movement staying silent when other native bird and other wildlife are accidentally poisoned and they sweep the facts under the carpet). Perhaps its time for the facts to become more public so we can be better informed – seeing that’s their rallying cry when it comes to govt etc.What’s good for the goose etc.

        My mention of dogs was due to reading articles from people walking their dogs and supposedly saying the signs were removed or there were no signs there (just going on what they said, hopefully the truth). Sincere condolences on the loss of your Huntaway.

  • rusty

    I was at Otira (Arthrus Pass) a couple of weeks ago and bumped into a guy tracking Kea at the Otira lookout. We had a lengthy and enlightening chat. He was on contract monitoring Kea throughout the South Island and had grave concerns for the long term future of them. He told us DOC had done eight 1080 drops and 6 had been successful (ie acceptable losses) and 2 hadn’t. He said that DOC was working on developing a repellent to stop the natural inquisitive Kea taking the bait. He recovers a lot of dead Kea and was quite firm in his view that pests were a big killer of Kea as they breed in burrows under rocks etc and that 1080 was the only effective way to deal with the problem. Interestingly he did note that DOC themselves are Kea killers via their Thar culling program as they use lead pellets in shotguns and of course the Kea get have a go at the carcasses and get lead poisoning (they also get it from lead head nails in fences and huts). As one of many kiwi keen on the outdoors I see plenty of thing DOC do wrong but to be honest I think species protection is something they get right most of the time. It seems clear to me that 1080 is necessary to protect our bird species in NZ. Their will of course be bi-kill. Also if DOC are trying to develop a Kea repellent bait there will be failures.

    So in this case perhaps getting the greens involved is not such a great idea they will only bugger things up more.

    • GazzW

      The biggest assistance that the greens could give to the country would be to give Russel that job as kea tracker at the Otira lookout on a permanent basis.

      • kehua

        Yeah, on the Moon.

      • Hazards001

        The best use of Russel would be as a polar beer spotter to protect the penguins in Antarctica.

        Should keep him busy for years!

  • nom nom nom

    They’ll trot out the tired old “but there’s a net benefit” bollocks again. “We kill some, but hey, it saves more.” pffffft. Keas eat poisoned rats, mice and whatever else too … repellent won’t work in that case.

  • Stuart

    You accuse the left of scaremongering, yet post this, I am disappointed.

    It is a simple fact that predators will kill native birds if we do not stop them. How can that be achieved in a cost effective manner?
    -Trapping – Kea break the traps and it is more expensive, so you cannot cover as much area – More birds die.

    -Poisoning – Some birds will die, we have always known that and accepted that, but overall more survive through reduced predator numbers.

    One commenter notes that some poisoned rats will be eaten – at first, once the predator numbers have been reduced the chances of this are obviously greatly reduced.

    DOC is atleast trying to reduce the number of birds killed, they are working on a solution and losses are not the end of the world, you are using a misleading article to build opposition to 1080.

    I am a hunter too.

    • John1234

      Bang on, Stuart.

      If they stop the 1080 drops the possums will wreak countless times more damage than the 1080 does.

      As to pigs, deer and goats – they have no status with DoC nor with the Greens – they are introduced species so the aforementioned see them as little different to possums – introduced pests.

  • unitedtribes

    On a 5 HA track of forest on my Waiheke property I have run a line of rat traps over the past year. During this time I have got 3 birds in the traps. Two were insignificant but one was a morpork which distressed me a bit. All the bird were got in one month in the summer and I think they were young birds out of the nest that spring. I hope overall I do more good than harm. It dose show that even using traps its not all good. I do know that rats cause a big problem for birds. I wonder if 1080 gets more bi kill of young bird not yet street wise. Perhaps Rusty can ask his new friend in Otira.

    • rusty

      Good point I don’t know the answer but I believe you will be doing more good than harm.

      I have been camping fairly regularly at a place called Pureora Forest for the lats 20 years or so. The bird life is prolific and I often sit in my camp chair in the evening with a cold beer watching 3 or 4 kaka dogfight with a dozen tui while bellbirds, whiteheads and kakariki flit around the campsite. I have seen almost every forest bird in NZ here. The place is fairly heavily 1080’d but a few years ago some genius in DOC decided that they would stop 1080 for 3 years to see what the effect was. It was pretty obvious to us as regular visitors as overnight the birdsong decreased and species like Kokako that we heard and saw disappeared. Once the 1080 was reintroduced the birds came back.
      No one likes using poisons and the inevitable bi-kill but it works so I am an unashamed supporter these days.