possum

Conservation is all about killing things

The liberal elites think hunting is evil…because people like me kill things and eat them.

Despite these attitudes, they also agree with tonnes of 1080 being dumped into our forests, lakes and streams…in order to kill things. At least I am eating my kill.

The bottom line though is every=thing I shoot, kill, and eat is introduced and a pest…someone has to do it.

We all need to do our part.

New Yorker has an article about New Zealand and our desire to rid ourselves of these introduced pests.

In the days—perhaps weeks—it had spent in the trap, the stoat had lost most of its fur, so it looked as if it had been flayed. Its exposed skin was the deep, dull purple of a bruise, and it was coated in an oily sheen, like a sausage. Stoat traps are often baited with eggs, and this one contained an empty shell. Kevin Adshead, who had set the trap, poked at the stoat with a screwdriver. It writhed and squirmed, as if attempting to rise from the dead. Then it disgorged a column of maggots.

“Look at those teeth,” Adshead said, pointing with his screwdriver at the decomposing snout.

Adshead, who is sixty-four, lives about an hour north of Auckland. He and his wife, Gill, own a thirty-five-hundred-acre farm, where for many years they raised cows and sheep. About a decade ago, they decided they’d had enough of farming and left to do volunteer work in the Solomon Islands. When they returned, they began to look at the place differently. They noticed that many of the trees on the property, which should have been producing cascades of red flowers around Christmastime, instead were stripped bare. That was the work of brushtail possums. To save the trees, the Adsheads decided to eliminate the possums, a process that involved dosing them with cyanide.  Read more »

Weedkiller runoff into Auckland’s water supply is bad, but 1080 poison is perfectly alright

The other day Maggie Barry gobbed off about 1080 being dumped all over the water catchment areas for Auckland in the Hunua Ranges.

She thought it was perfectly alright to dump poison into our water system.

Now we find out that the Council has been dumping weed killer intot he water and that the water has been essentially quarantined.

Two dams in the Hunua Ranges which supply about 20 per cent of Auckland’s water were closed for four months this year after traces of a toxic herbicide applied to nearby forestry blocks got into the dams’ supply lakes.

Last night, Watercare Services said there was no risk to public health.

Auckland Council was told of the incident, but both the council and Watercare Services kept it quiet from the public until a whistleblower contacted the Herald yesterday.

Watercare communications manager John Redwood said the public were not notified because “we were confident there was no risk of water from the lakes being drawn into the supply network at any time”.

After a forestry block on council land in the Cosseys, Wairoa and Mangatawhiri dam catchments was sprayed on May 12, Watercare detected traces of the herbicide metsulfuron-methyl in the Cosseys and Wairoa lakes.

Metsulfuron-methyl is a residual toxic herbicide used to kill broadleaf weeds and some annual grasses.

Watercare said the likely cause was run-off from surrounding blocks as a result of unexpected heavy rain two days after spraying. GPS tracking by helicopter confirmed spray was not applied to the lake areas.

Read more »

Not what I expected would happen

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1080 to protect birds? Really?

Weka eating 1080 poisoned carcass

Weka eating 1080 poisoned carcass

Last week the Nick Smith said there is no evidence to suggest 1080 kills birds…I don’t know how he knows that but anyone who has been into a bush area after a 1080 drop will tell you that there are no birds, no sounds, nothing but death.

However now scientists are planning on boosting 1080 drops…to protect birds.

Scientists are supporting the Government’s plan to use targeted 1080 drops to protect native birds from an expected rat and stoat plague.

An abundance of beech seed this year is expected to cause a population explosion among stoats and rats in forests.

Under the “Battle for Our Birds” predator control programme, announced by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith last week, the Department of Conservation will treat up to an extra 500,000 hectares of conservation land with aerial 1080 application this year and next, should predator numbers increase.

The additional 1080 drop will increase the area of public conservation land treated for pests from 5 per cent to 12. The work is budgeted to cost $21 million over the next five years. DOC’s annual budget is $335m.   Read more »

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.  Read more »

A Competition all Schools should run

Stuff.co.nz

The wowsers are up in arms again…this time over a “Best Dressed Possum” competition…just look at the joy on those kids faces and the creativity used ti presenting all the entries. Fantastic stuff really. Except the usual suspects are moaning about “respecting” a dead pest, vermin even and wrecking the fun these kids had.

Good on Uruti School, well done.

A Taranaki school is defending its Pig Hunt fundraiser after being labelled ‘sick’ for holding a best-dressed possum competition.

Photos of dead possums dressed in dolls clothes sparked huge debate when they were published on the Taranaki Daily News.

The online story received more than 100 comments with the majority saying the competition was a sad reflection on Uruti School.

“Teaching kids that killing then dressing up the dead bodies of animals as a form of entertainment is one of the sickest things I’ve seen,” one comment read.

An online poll asking whether a best-dressed possum competition was over the top received more than 400 votes.

About 57 per cent said it was inhumane, while 43 per cent said it was harmless fun.

The SPCA have also voiced their concern with the event saying it was disappointing.

“The SPCA’s focus is on teaching children respect and empathy for animals and they didn’t do that,” spokeswoman Jackie Poles-Smith said.

“Animals deserve respect even after death.”

But Uruti School principal Pauline Sutton said the event was fantastic and the school had only received positive feedback.

Possums may be immune, but you aren’t

Mashable

The other day I blogged about possums being immune to snake venom…all good, but you aren’t so watch out.

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Feed them 1080, that’ll do it

Boing Boing

On Boing Boing there is a post about how you apparently can’t poison a possum. Which of course is rubbish…we here in New Zealand have got poisoning possums down to a fine and lethal art…they might be immune to snake venom but 1080 knocks them down in their millions:

The common American opossum produces a protein called Lethal Toxin-Neutralizing Factor (LTNF). This protein does pretty much what the name implies—seeking out potentially deadly poisons and neutralizing them. The benefit: Opossums are all-but immune to the venom of poisonous snakes. (Including the venom of snakes native to continents where the common American opossum does not live.) But it gets weirder, as Jason Bittel explains on the BittelMeThis blog:

So they took some rats and injected them with LTNF, then pumped them full of otherwise lethal doses of venom from Thailand cobras, Australian taipans, Brazilian rattlesnakes, scorpions and honeybees. But the rats just laughed in their faces.

“Dude,” said one scientist, “we have to kill these rats. Do you watch AMC’s Breaking Bad?” The other scientists nodded of course because everybody watches Breaking Bad. So next they tried to kill the rats with ricin, an extremely lethal poison made from castor beans. (How lethal? Just ask Georgi Markov, the real-life Bulgarian defector killed by a ricin umbrella gun. That’s right, I said ricin umbrella gun.)

Alas, the ricin was a no-go. The now-snooty rats danced Ring Around the Rosie.

“That’s it!” screeched the lead scientist. “It’s time to release the botulinum toxin. Surely this will conquer the awkward opossum’s super serum!” But after many maniacal laughs and a few bolts of lightning, the rats were still alive.

(The paper does not mention what became of the super rats. I can only assume they went on to write “The Secret of Nimh” while the evil scientists lost their rat-killing grant.)

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Blogger vs Possum

Not in New Zealand and not this blogger. Blogger Glenn Greenwald comes face to face with a possum.

As we all know, Glenn Greenwald leads a life with many facets: he is part no-holds-barred blogger, part family man, Brazilian resident and lover of dogs. The second half was in evidence on Monday night and Tuesday morning, as Greenwald turned to Twitter to assist him in a perilous mission: dealing with a wild creature (most likely a possum) that had gotten into his pantry.

Greenwald uploaded a video to YouTube, showing him cautiously approaching the beast (which had black fur and was making a low, rumbling growl of a noise) before fleeing his pantry. “Does anyone happen to know what this bizarre creature is- just found in our pantry- & how one can encourage it to exit?” he tweeted.

His followers told him it was a possum, and advised him to leave a trail of cat food going from the pantry to the outside. Greenwald followed their advice and voila!

“[The cat food] & the creature are gone,” he tweeted on Tuesday. Crisis averted!

Had this been me or in NZ then the possum would be dead! Probably with this as the cause of death.

101 Uses for a Dead Possum

Ok, Spanish Bride suggested it, so let’s do it.

Let’s show the wowsers just what a dead possum is useful for.

If readers send in cartoons, scanned hand drawn ideas or photoshop jobs I will make an online book called “101 Uses for a Dead Possum”, dedicated to the readers of Whaleoil.

Years ago there was a book 101 uses for a dead cat, I have a copy and my kids regularly flick through it having a laugh. I’m sure we can do better with possums. Here is an example from that book. You get the idea.

Here is a helpful site to get you started on drawing possums.

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