DoC’s own data reveals each poisoning operation kills on average 12% of NZ’s native kea – “a tragedy easily avoided” – Dr Jo Pollard

Rangitikei Environmental Health Watch

Dr Jo Pollard, BSc (Hons), PhD

Posted by Carol Sawyer

(Published in the Greymouth Star, 10 March, 2020)

In 1979 scientist Eric Spurr warned that wide scale poisoning of New Zealand with compound 1080, intended to kill introduced mammals, was actually killing kea and many other animals. It took decades before NZ’s Department of Conservation (DoC) finally began to monitor kea deaths from 1080 poisoning.

Now, using DoC’s own data, we can estimate that each poisoning operation will kill an average 12% of kea.

During the most horrific example DoC managed to kill 78% of the tracked kea population (7 of 9 kea monitored at North Okarito). Last month, in the Matukituki Valley, 50% of DoC’s monitored kea died after a 1080 drop.

Disturbingly, two myths have again been rolled out in an attempt to soothe public anger over the destruction of these now rare, iconic birds.

Myth 1. Kea…

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