On 10 Feb we reported on the intended spread of 1080 over Kahurangi National Park in the South Island amid mainstream media silence. The Grey Star newspaper was the only newspaper we are aware of, to publish on it. We’ve encountered denials on various forums and alternative news sites this week, however reliable sources on the ground in the area confirmed for us on the 10th February of the pre-feed drop as actually happening. Mainstream, say locals, has been strangely silent on the event, although on the 15th February Stuff finally reported on the pre feed drop. This drop is the one that is poison free and accustoms the animals to eating the bait. The poisoned bait will follow.
We were also informed that locals, to their very great credit, declined accommodation for DOC workers doing the pre-feed drop, forgoing a sizeable sum of money. These people are putting their money where their mouth is. Amidst local rumors whether or not the drop was happening, on the night of the 14th two big hoppers were seen on the back of a truck heading south toward Anatori.
This morning (17th February) several trucks and other vehicles were seen returning from Turimawiwi area just north of Kahurangi Lighthouse. They were obviously part of the drop it was said, as evident by the equipment they had on board. They had picked up a tramper who had been down at the lighthouse and saw no less than five choppers spraying the area. The tramper had had to flee from his trip to the light house because 1080 pellets were being dropped both north and south of this favorite tramping spot. The tramper was on holiday from Wellington, and appalled to have seen no notification of the drop.
Pre-feed drop or not, there should have been some notification for the public.
This is UNACCEPTABLE!!
It appears that the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) is seeking accommodation for up to 30 people in the Kahurangi NP area for the first weekend of March.
A pertinent reminder here:
1080 is a broad-spectrum poison: it kills all oxygen-breathing animals and organisms
1080 is a broad-spectrum poison: it kills all oxygen-breathing animals and organisms. This alone is reason enough to cease dispersing it into the environment. It indiscriminately kills and contaminates everything from the insects that underpin the native fauna food chain to precious native birds, dogs and farm animals.
Dr Meriel Watts, PANANZ
And in the meantime, the Otago Daily Times reported on the 16th February on the Makarora Valley 1080 operation near Wanaka with concerns about the presence of many tourists still in the bush.
Concern for trampers in pest operation
“The Department of Conservation has started its Battle for our Birds aerial pest control operation in the Makarora Valley near Wanaka but there are concerns about the apparent high numbers of trampers still in the area.
Doc Central Otago operations manager Mike Tubbs said the operation would begin today with a pre-feed of non-toxic cereal pellets dropped by helicopters over the Makarora valley and its tributaries, the Fish, Blue, Young, Cameron, Wilkin and Siberia Valleys.
Makarora Tourist Centre Director Rhondda Osmers said she wrote to Doc expressing her concerns about the number of vehicles parked in the trampers’ car park yesterday, at Makarora. READ MORE
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Header Photo Credit (Kahurangi National Park) with thanks: Wikimedia Commons