Category Archives: Conservation

DoC is calling the kettle black don’t you think?

So according to this article from the News Room, Ngāi Tahu have been instrumental in the loss of habitat for the small brown Eyrewell beetle in NZ… and it would appear, DoC almost powerless to stop them? The little beetle, like many insects world wide, is becoming extinct (not that any manufacturers of the lucrative poisons slathered world wide over everything would care).

Whatever you may think about Ngāi Tahu or their part in the demise of this beetle DoC can hardly point fingers at them witness our increasingly silent forests in NZ. They are dropping tonnes of the insecticide 1080 all over our ecosystem like a veritable lolly scramble, with no long term studies to prove to us it is saving our birds as it claims. On top of all that they actually claim it targets pests (& does not kill non target creatures) when clearly by their own documented information & independent science, 1080 kills every living breathing organism period. The little beetle here also began its demise with the ongoing planting & felling of pine forests. So really it’s a bit rich all round to be pointing the finger at Ngāi Tahu. Aside from that, turn the clock back a century and a bit & you’ll find the ongoing cry was that Māori lands that were uncultivated or not farmed were ‘waste’ lands, a good reason why Māori shouldn’t own them. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

RELATED LINKS:
THE DECIMATION OF OUR NATIVE KEA – WE ARE WATCHING ONE OF NEW ZEALAND’S GREATEST ENVIRONMENTAL TRAGEDIES TAKING PLACE!

“TWENTY YEARS OF 1080 IN THE HAAST VALLEY HAS KILLED OUR KEA POPULATION”

THE 1080 INSECTICIDE IS NOT KILLING 50% OF OUR INSECTS SAYS DOC – AND NO LONG TERM MONITORING IN SIGHT


From thenewsroom.co.nz

Search for Eyrewell Forest on Google Maps and you won’t find a forest. In fact, what you see looks similar to surrounding Canterbury farm land.

What was once a forest is now home to 14,000 dairy cows. Satellite photographs show a tell-tale pattern of circles where centre-pivot irrigators are busy creating grass where trees once stood.

The forest was home to a small, dark brown beetle commonly known as the Eyrewell ground beetle. Globally, only 10 have ever been found. All were found amongst trees in Eyrewell Forest, the last in 2005.

The beetles’ home was returned to Ngāi Tahu as part of a treaty settlement in 2000. Since then the 6700 hectares of plantation pines have steadily disappeared and dairy cows have taken over.

“The success and effectiveness of Ngāi Tahu Farming is connected to the health and wellbeing of the lands, waterways, plants and animals under our care which is central to our kaitiakitanga values.”

The march of chainsaws, shredders and pivot irrigators continued despite eight years of effort by the Department of Conservation (DOC) to convince Ngāi Tahu Farming to save some the beetles’ habitat in reserves.

In October 2018 Ngāi Tahu Farming told Stuff  the last of the forest would be removed for the intensive dairy conversion. Its CEO Andrew Priest said the organisation turns to Ngāi Tahu values guide their farming.

“The success and effectiveness of Ngāi Tahu Farming is connected to the health and wellbeing of the lands, waterways, plants and animals under our care which is central to our kaitiakitanga values.”

According to him 120 hectares of plantation pine has been retained. From aerial photographs it appears this has been done only in one area where beetles were possibly found. Other areas where beetles were found are treeless, one area has a small amount of scrub.

Priest said Lincoln University has been surveying the likely remaining spots of the beetle since 2013. No beetles have been found. He said search efforts will be abandoned in 2020.

The risk of extinction is so extreme one scientist, Eckehard Brockerhoff, who found five of the 10 collected beetles, is considered penning an obituary.

If he does, the obituary will be scant on detail of the beetle as so little is known about it. It’s a bit over 1cm long, nocturnal, and scientists think it lives for two years.

Wingless and described as a “moderate” runner it has managed to move from the kānuka it inhabited in the 1920s to the plantation pine which replaced it. It could even be called tenacious, as it also survived repeated rounds of removing and replacing areas of plantation pine as areas of forest were progressively logged and replanted.

Whether its tenacity could survive the dairy conversion is another matter according to Brockerhoff who spent thousands of trapping days attempting to find the beetle in the early 2000s. His efforts netted five beetles.

“It [the dairy conversion] involves felling all the trees, ripping out the root stock and then pretty much mulching the coarser woody material which is left behind into small chips. They took like a giant shredder over it. It was a very effective method of not only shredding any plant matter, but any invertebrates that are larger than a pinhead. I didn’t think the beetles would have stood much of a chance to survive in those converted areas.”

In the views of the scientists, setting aside a reserve of plantation pine where beetles were found in the 6700 ha property could have given the beetle a fighting chance.

Eyrewell Forest. Red dots show approximate locations where Eyrewell beetles were found by Brockerhoff. Yellow dots are probable locations of previously found beetles. Image: Google Maps

Failed talks

Brockerhoff sums up Ngāi Tahu Farming’s reception to the idea of establishing a reserve to save the beetles habitat as “a bit reluctant.”

Documents attained under the Official Information Act show repeated efforts were made by DOC between 2005 and 2013 to promote the creation of a reserve.

Emails exchanges started off cheerfully. A 2009 email from DOC to Ngāi Tahu’s rural manager reads: “Just been chatting to [redacted name] here at DOC re the possibility of setting up a reserve at Eyrewell – the same chat we had about two years ago I’m sure you recall!!!”

Once trees started to be cut down and with no formal agreement about the creation of a reserve the tone grew more urgent. In internal DOC emails frustration is clear.

“It’s fine for private landowners to develop their land, however it seems absurd for us a community to be allowing the unplanned clearance of much of the forest when this will knowingly cause the extinction of Holcaspis [Eyrewell ground beetle] …”

A plan by Ngāi Tahu Farming to reserve 150ha of pine forest was called “commendable”, however, the location of the reserve was not in the area where the beetle had been found. Restoration planting Ngāi Tahu Farming was planning to undertake was also not considered to be a solution which would save the beetle.

“… preserving a small amount of their habitat before it is gone will give us a great chance of saving these species from global extinction and regional extinction respectively, and one that is far more effective than some-how recreating their habitat … some minor changes to the location and size of the reserves would effectively save these species from extinction.”

DOC staff listed their attempts at finding a way to save the beetles’ habitat through the district and regional council pathways. A judicial review was suggested, although it was noted this was with some nervousness as there would be several “legal fish hooks”.

There was no judicial review. After 2013, the emails stopped.

DOC Mahaanui operations manager Andy Thompson said he understood Ngāi Tahu Farming commissioned Lincoln University to help with restoration efforts after 2013. Thompson was not aware of what the outcome has been and whether DOC’s eight years campaigning for a reserve had any effect.

“DOC would have loved to have seen a reserve created and an Eyrewell ground beetle population flourishing. The reality is we can only provide advice for managing biodiversity values on private land or advocate through consent processes and district council plans.

“We don’t have the ability to directly manage private land.”

“The fact that most of the forest has gone and now no beetles are being found means they’ve likely already been driven extinct, and a couple more years of trapping will probably confirm that.”

Ngāi Tahu Farming’s response

Priest said the plight of the beetle was an issue of importance to Ngāi Tahu Farming.

“Since 2013, Lincoln University has been surveying the Eyrewell Forest area at the request of Ngāi Tahu and has found no beetles. They have surveyed in the likely remaining sites using the same techniques as the original survey and have not found any beetles after searching for approximately 30,000 trap days. These annual surveys will continue until 2020 at this stage.

“In this area, approximately 120ha of pine forest has been retained and at least another 100ha of land has been set aside for native kānuka shrub land restoration. The pine forest in the central section of the development has not been cleared away, which is important to note because it is in this area that Canterbury Beetles [Eyrewell beetles] were once recorded.”

Ngāi Tahu Farming have been asked to clarify where these areas are on an aerial map but did not respond prior to publishing.

Wikipedian-at-large and keen entomologist Doctor Mike Dickison has expressed concern over the plight of the beetles for several months. He was not impressed by Ngāi Tahu Farming’s efforts.

“The preferred habitat of the beetle is pine forest, and they’ve removed 98.3% of the pine forest, chipped and mulched what’s left, and turned it into dairy pasture.”

With only one of the areas the beetle has been found in left as forest he suspects it will never be seen again.

“The fact that most of the forest has gone and now no beetles are being found means they’ve likely already been driven extinct, and a couple more years of trapping will probably confirm that.”

Mike Dickison visited Eyrewell Forest February 9. Photo: Mike Dickison

He’s not reassured by the claims of restoration efforts. During a recent visit to the area he saw planting in the corners of centre-pivot irrigated paddocks with dead plants.

A Lincoln University website show what it calls a “distributed forest” as being proposed for the farm. Concept drawings show thin rings of native trees surrounding centre-pivot irrigators.

Brockerhoff said when he was in talks with Ngāi Tahu Farming it hoped shelter belts which were going to be established between irrigated paddocks would provide enough habitat for the beetles.

“We suggested a single row of trees in the landscape established after the habitat conversion would probably not do the trick.”

He was unsurprised at the news no beetles have been found since he found the last one in 2005.

“I think the surveys done from 2013 onwards was after the pine forest had been cleared.”

He said while guesswork was involved, it’s probable no beetles have been found because the forests gone: “The shredding and the mulching would not have left a lot of invertebrates behind.”

While 120ha might sound like a large area it’s still a limited habitat according to Brockerhoff.

“Even if there is a population there, there’s no guarantee they can actually survive there.”

“The decision to convert Eyrewell Forest to pasture has been driven by an economic assessment of profitability, with little consideration of biodiversity values.”

Why can’t we save a beetle?

Insects on private land don’t have much protection. The only exception is if they are listed as protected under the Wildlife Act. Despite being on a DOC list of 150 conservation priority species, the Eyrewell ground beetle is not on the list of protected insects.

draft policy for indigenous biodiversity has been written which could cover insects in the future, however, there’s disagreement about plantation forests. The Forest Owners’ Association and Federated Farmers want a special exclusion stopping any plantation forest from being classed as being worthy of protection, regardless of what threatened species might live there.

While most don’t think of commercial pine forests as hotbeds of biodiversity they’ve become home to a surprising number of New Zealand’s threatened species. A 2010 article published in the New Zealand Journal of Ecology found 118 species listed as threated live in plantation forests. These include birds such as kiwi and falcons, bats, fish, plants, and invertebrates like the Eyrewell ground beetle.

The article makes special mention of the Eyrewell forest:

“However, this forest, along with several others in this area, is currently being converted to pasture, primarily for dairying. The decision to convert Eyrewell Forest to pasture has been driven by an economic assessment of profitability, with little consideration of biodiversity values. If the conversion is implemented without setting aside adequate areas of suitable habitat for H. brevicula [Eyrewell beetle] (i.e. plantation forest or restored kānuka forest) then this species is likely to become extinct in the near future.”

Brockerhoff’s most optimistic view of the likelihood the beetles’ tenacity might help it survive the dairy conversion is far from inspiring.

“The chances aren’t too good but it’s difficult to say.”

https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/02/12/440614/hello-cows-bye-bye-rare-beetle?preview=1&fbclid=IwAR0dLISjIFB1tTMSvB46RPzTEWOYLuMSmwiC7q_o4GWOkFMCh5jhMPZ04hs

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Some insights on DoC from insiders

Some insights on DoC here from insiders … note that familiar word ‘restructure’ the the smoke & mirror modus operandi of the corporates. When the music stops (the restructure music) … less bums on seats, more work for those who are left, more profits for CE & the likes. A post Rogernomics tactic.

Insiders pan DOC’s corporate embrace

From newsroom.co.nz

Another sign of how the Department of Conservation has lost its way, some insiders and ex-staffers say, is its embrace of corporate management methods. David Williams reports.

Faced with staff discontent, the Department of Conservation called in consultants and rolled out a suite of management tools. First there was the so-called interface project, to improve relations between scientific and operational staff. After that, there was “team process” and “reflection logs”, and, for managers, “single-point accountability”.

DOC director-general Lou Sanson, a proponent of the changes, says when he was appointed in 2013 the department was “siloed”, after two big restructures that shed 250 jobs. The new wave of staff interactions have led to huge advances, he says.

But critics say the new set of behavioural rules are another sign DOC has lost its way – showing how disconnected the leadership of the organisation’s become from the work it’s there to do. One former DOC worker says the department’s been captured by fads, which has ushered in a period of “empty change”. They paint a picture of excruciatingly awkward, hours-long meetings of unnecessary navel-gazing.

Another former DOC staffer says: “A tremendous amount of money, time and effort was being spent on what I would regard as wasted projects trying to make communication internally within the department better.”

‘Just doing his job’

A current DOC insider says the changes accentuated the decision-making authority of managers, who were encouraged to manage workers more assertively. That’s made them more sensitive to people who – like departed ecologist Nick Head – challenge authority about poor decisions.

Head was controversially suspended for sending photos to conservation organisations, after being asked to do so, of irrigation pipeline work on public conservation land. But some of his ex-colleagues say he was just doing his job and was effectively punished for speaking up about “piss-poor” decisions.

READ MORE

https://www.newsroom.co.nz/@environment/2018/07/16/155418/insiders-pan-docs-corporate-embrace?fbclid=IwAR1Mcy4HgoohTj3BAl4xf2lCJTOGQ02wB6EIYzRxFG_FQ4nidGNg_Tu5qXM

DoC admits their 1080 rat control operation only lasts 3-6 months … ANNUAL poisoning now for Heaphy Vlly & Coast

From Carol Sawyer
1 Nov 2018

DoC ADMITS RAT CONTROL ONLY WORKS FOR 3 – 6 MONTHS !!
HEAPHY VALLEY AND COAST – TO HAVE ANNUAL AERIAL 1080 POISONING

I have been sent this letter with the comment “Look at this Carol, this is the first time I have seen DOC admit that the poison only holds back numbers of rodents for 3-6 months!”

It is indeed the first time they have admitted that! DoC say in their letter :

“The Department estimates that each pest control operation will provide a window for native species to breed and thrive that lasts around three to six months before rat numbers start to build up again.”

Look at the attached graph… only five months after the 1080 drop, the rat numbers had become HIGHER than they were at the time of the drop and were continuing to climb.

The 20,667 ha area extends over the western end of the Heaphy track, and the drop will take place between October and December, 2018.

**************************************************************

“7 September, 2018

Dear……

This letter is to let you know abut changes to pest control work happening in the Heaphy Valley and along the Heaphy Coast in the coming year.

The Department is moving to trial an annual rodent control program starting from this year in this area due to consistently high numbers of rats outside operation times. These high numbers are impacting the bird and bat populations in the area and threatening other vulnerable native species.

The Department estimates that each pest control operation will provide a window for native species to breed and thrive that lasts around three to six months before rat numbers start to build up again.

The pest control will be closely monitored to ensure it is obtaining the outcomes needed to protect species.

Over the coming months, we will be conducting a consultation process with landowners, the local community and other interested parties.

A fact sheet containing further information on the pest control in the Heaphy Valley and coast is attached.The map shows the indicative boundaries of the operation.

DoC will be contracting a local pest control operator to carry out the work and notifications will be sent out closer to the time of the operation.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of what is proposed then please do not hesitate to contact me at the address below by September 30th, 2018.

Kind regards,

Jess Curtis
Senior Ranger – Bathurst Project
Dept of Conservation”


 

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“NZ’s Predator Free 2050 program .. not .. well informed by scientific knowledge or conservation best practice” say two conservation academics

NZ’s very controversial Predator Free 2050 program is driven by “international agreements and a global agenda to purge all non native species of animals and plants around the world”.

A paper published by Professor Wayne Linklater and Dr Jamie Steer (July 2018) in Conservation Letters: A Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology  (cited at the Wiley Online Library*) concludes that the Government’s Predator Free 2050 program “has not been well informed by scientific knowledge or conservation best practice. It also misdirects attention” they say “from more fundamental and direct threats to biodiversity protection and recovery”.

Associate Professor Wayne Linklater from Victoria University’s School of Biological Sciences, considered by many to be the “founder of modern pest management in New Zealand” was recently awarded the 2018 Peter Nelson Memorial Trophy by New Zealand’s Biosecurity Institute in recognition of his research in pest management.

Dr Jamie Steer is a  Senior Biodiversity Advisor for Greater Wellington Regional Council. He has a Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science from the University of Auckland, a Master of Science in Ecology and Biodiversity, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He is a former member of the Ecological Society of New Zealand and a current Associate of the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies.

I’m sure you will agree that these two academics are well qualified to be commenting on NZ’s Predator Free agenda. DoC have purportedly discussed with them the concerns outlined in their research paper, however DoC is undeterred. Bear in mind they are tasked with selling to the public a global agenda signed up to historically to rid every nation in the world of any and all non native species, plant and animal.

You can read the research paper at the link:

Predator Free 2050: A flawed conservation policy displaces higher priorities and better, evidence‐based alternatives

Abstract

New Zealand’s policy to exterminate five introduced predators by 2050 is well‐meant but warrants critique and comparison against alternatives. The goal is unachievable with current or near‐future technologies and resources. Its effects on ecosystems and 26 other mammalian predators and herbivores will be complex. Some negative outcomes are likely. Predators are not always and everywhere the largest impact on biodiversity. Lower intensity predator suppression, habitat protection and restoration, and prey refugia will sometimes better support threatened biodiversity.

READ THE ENTIRE PAPER AT THE SOURCE:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/conl.12593


 

*”Conservation Letters is a scientific journal publishing empirical and theoretical research with significant implications for the conservation of biological diversity. The journal welcomes submissions across the biological and social sciences – especially interdisciplinary submissions – that advance pragmatic conservation goals as well as scientific understanding”.  SOURCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who is really driving Pest Free NZ (PFNZ) – what you aren’t being told

An excellent article here that throws much needed light on the 1080 poison issue. So here it is in plain sight. Agenda 21, kicked off at the Earth Summit in 1992. If the prevention of biodiversity loss caused by alien species was so above board why are they not selling it to the general public in its original terms? And as I keep repeating, if this UN document were truly about their so called sustainable practices we should by now be seeing some results. Instead we see unprecedented pollution, environmental destruction, poverty, inequality, homelessness & debt. And aside from all of that, what is sustainable about poisoning the entire environment? What is sustainable about poison, period? Oh, that’s right, certain corporate profits.


By J James at infonews.co.nz

What is driving the Pest Free NZ Agenda and the hysteria in eradicating non native species.  Answer – International agreements and a global  agenda to purge all non native species of animals and plants around the world.

Its wise to know that when you stand up to protest DOC for the tortuous deaths it is perpetrating on innocent animals,  that you are confronting not just DOC or the current minister or politician but a host of unelected bureaucrats who manage all the various global agreements NZ has signed up to.  These bureaucrats ensure that things run smoothly. The minister and the politicians are an interface between us and them.  John Key called these global organisations the clubs 

There is much more to this story that you can research yourself but the core thing here is that NZ is part of a much bigger extremist idea under the guise of protecting biodiversity – or purism as I call it –  where everything and anything non native and not productive to  human use will be destroyed.

While you browse through these sites you will read a language that appears benign and even needed, yet the practical application and act of killing so many innocent species unlucky to find themselves in another country is horrendous to contemplate and makes me wonder about the sanity of this human race.

Nature abhors a vacuum and will do anything to balance her eco system and can usually do it – its called adaption its called evolution.  When ‘man’ decides to play god then unintended consequences abound and we are all put at risk.  That we now stand at the edge of this psychopathic agenda of death, we must pause for a moment and consider how industry with the approval of governments have deforested the planet to feed its voracious appetite for money for economic growth at all costs .  There has been a huge cost – industry enabled by  governments have destroyed so much of the world’s natural habitat that species extinction has become so obvious.  The shock of this has forced the agenda of biodiversity loss using eradication of non native species as a means to address it.

Here in NZ it is seen most noticeably in the dropping of poison out of helicopters into pristine ecosystems, rendering them silent.
When New Zealand announced its Predator Free NZ vision it wasn’t as if suddenly someone in the Department of Conservation woke up with a great idea – it was a directive NZ had to follow as part of being a member of the United Nations.  They never mention this.

There is a global agenda to rid every nation in the world of any and all non native species – animals and plants – non productive species that is – cows and sheep bulls and horses and domestic pigs will stay because they are part of industry and form the back bone of many economies.  But the rest that are not needed will be eradicated.

This is the global agenda and it’s time we knew where this kill kill mentality actually came from.

New Zealand is a member of the IUCN which stands for International Union for Conservation of  Nature – on the international stage NZ is part of the Oceania group  run by the Department of Conservation. Its government agencies are:

The IUCN was founded in 1948. Taken from their website it says this:

”….located near Geneva, Switzerland. The Union brings together 86 states, 120 government agencies, 825 national and 92 international non-governmental organisations, 34 affiliate organisations and through its Commissions about 11,000 experts and scientists from more than 160 countries around the world…”

IUCN’s mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. The Union has three components: its member organisations, its six scientific commissions, and its professional secretariat.

IUCN is the only environmental organisation to have official observer status at the United Nations General Assembly.

NGOs connected to this in NZ are:

They all aim for ecological integrity (purity, my word).

All over the world the word has gone out that all creatures great and small that are not indigenous to that land will be terminated.  It’s not just New Zealand

IUCN GUIDELINES FOR THE PREVENTION OF BIODIVERSITY LOSS CAUSED BY ALIEN INVASIVE SPECIES 

”….. Biological diversity faces many threats throughout the world. One of the major threats to native biological diversity is now acknowledged by scientists and governments to be biological invasions caused by alien invasive species.  The impacts of alien invasive species are immense, insidious, and usually irreversible. They may be as damaging  to native species and ecosystems on a global scale as the loss and degradation of habitats…”

its goals and objectives are …. sound familiar?

”……to prevent further losses of biological diversity due to the deleterious effects of alien invasive species. The intention is to assist governments and management agencies to give effect to Article 8 (h) of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which states that: “Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate: …(h) Prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate those alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats or species….”

Then there is the CBD which is Convention on Biodiversity and is a legally binding multilateral treaty from the UN of which NZ is a member.  It has three main goals:

“…The conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity); the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

In other words, its objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. It is often seen as the key document regarding sustainable development. The Convention was opened for signatures at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1992 and entered into force on 29 December 1993. At the 2010 10th Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October in Nagoya, Japan, the Nagoya Protocol was adopted…”

or said another way

Protecting Biodiversity.

“….The current decline in biodiversity is largely the result of human activity and represents a serious threat to human development. Despite mounting efforts over the past 20 years, the loss of the world’s biological diversity, mainly from habitat destruction, over-harvesting, pollution and the inappropriate introduction of foreign plants and animals, has continued. Biological resources constitute a capital asset with great potential for yielding sustainable benefits.

Urgent and decisive action is needed to conserve and maintain genes, species and ecosystems, with a view to the sustainable management and use of biological resources…”

Another part of this is the Invasive Species Specialty group 

Their mission statement says:
“….The Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) aims to reduce threats to natural ecosystems and the native species they contain by increasing awareness of invasive alien species, and of ways to prevent, control or eradicate them….”

When you hear the DoC and the minister for the Environment talk of eradicating species this is what they are talking about .  This is what they are instructed to do as a member state of the UN.

Here in NZ we are watching the eradication of  wild game – food that many rely on to feed their families –  hunting is as kiwi as rugby – but a wild food industry is being slowly eradicated under the guise of PFNZ .

NZ has no wild mammals as such,  all wild game including trout existing here now is non native and earmarked for eradication, despite them being brought in over 100 years ago.  The various NZ bodies of these organisations do not come out directly and say this of course,  instead they are doing it by stealth, and the best tool in the box for this eradication appears to be the deadly Sodium fluoroacetate commonly referred to as 1080.

SOURCE

https://www.infonews.co.nz/news.cfm?l=1&t=0&id=117063

The blue macaw parrot that inspired “Rio” is now officially extinct in the wild

In the animated film “Rio,” a Spix’s Macaw named Blu flies all the way from Minnesota to Rio de Janeiro because he’s the last living male of his species and that’s where Jewel, the last living female, lives. Blu and Jewel ultimately fall in love, have a baby and the movie ends happily – with the hope that the literal lovebirds can save their species. In the real world, however, Blu would’ve been too late.

A new study by BirdLife International, a global partnership of conservation organizations that strive to conserve bird species around the world, reveals that in recent years several bird species have lost their fight for survival. And sadly, one of those species is the beautiful Spix’s Macaw. The species is now considered extinct in the wild, although some of the birds survive in breeding programs.

While the vast majority of bird extinctions in recent centuries have occurred on isolated islands, five of the eight highlighted by this study occurred in South America – four in Brazil alone – a tragic statement on the impact of deforestation in that part of the world.

READ MORE

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/blue-spixs-macaw-parrot-that-inspired-rio-is-extinct-in-wild/

One in eight bird species threatened with extinction, global study finds (note, NZ’s Kea also under threat)

NOTE: Our own Kea in NZ are nearing extinction…

With a long history of poisoning Kea, DoC is set to finish off what remains – Dr Jo Pollard


From the Guardian

Here, a “Report on the state of the world’s birds reveals a biodiversity crisis driven by intensive farming, with once-common species such as puffins and snowy owls now at risk.”

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The once-widespread Atlantic puffin is now listed as vulnerable on the red list of threatened species. Photo: Pixabay

One in eight bird species are threatened with global extinction, and once widespread creatures such as the puffin, snowy owl and turtle dove are plummeting towards oblivion, according to the definitive study of global bird populations.

The State of the World’s Birds, a five-year compendium of population data from the best-studied group of animals on the planet, reveals a biodiversity crisis driven by the expansion and intensification of agriculture.

In all, 74% of 1,469 globally threatened birds are affected primarily by farming. Logging, invasive species and hunting are the other main threats.

“Each time we undertake this assessment we see slightly more species at risk of extinction – the situation is deteriorating and the trends are intensifying,” said Tris Allinson, senior global science officer for BirdLife International, which produced the report. “The species at risk of extinction were once on mountaintops or remote islands, such as the pink pigeon in Mauritius. Now we’re seeing once widespread and familiar species – European turtle doves, Atlantic puffins and kittiwakes – under threat of global extinction.”

READ MORE

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/23/one-in-eight-birds-is-threatened-with-extinction-global-study-finds

 

Southland District Council has told a correspondent that the recent helicopter tour of Fiordland by 30 odd international bankers & DoC was ‘philanthropic’ … and nary a whisper from mainstream media?

Philanthropic? The marrying of that term and the banking industry in my opinion is somewhat of an oxymoron. Think about that…

“philanthropist” … a person who seeks to promote the welfare of others, especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.

A reader who, after recently hearing of the 6-helicopter tour of Fiordland by 30 bankers including the heads of Hong Kong Goldman Sachs and the Dept of Conservation, wrote to the Mayor of Southland District Council to get some clarification of its purpose. It is further confirmed that the group was indeed The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the reply is intriguing. One would have to ask, why wasn’t this headline news? An important visit by no less than thirty international bankers purveying their chosen area of shall we say ‘investment’ and not a squeak about it in mainstream media? Curious indeed.

Here is the letter sent and the response recently received (name of correspondent withheld as requested):

Dear Mr Tong,

I have been informed that:

“Six Squirrel helicopters were chartered from Alpine Helicopters, Wanaka. They only have five Squirrels so one was chartered in by them.

Apparently, Director-General of Conservation Lou Sanson, and presumably other DoC” people, “took a pile of international bankers on a Tiki Tour. I am told the Hong Kong-based head of Goldman Sachs was one of them.

They went to Fiordland – landing in the Murchison Mountains, (Takahe), Chalky Island (Kakapo) in Chalky Inlet, and Resolution Island in Dusky Sound.”

I wonder if you were aware of this trip because it seems to be in your area?

Perhaps there is an innocent explanation why 30 international bankers would land on Resolution Island, Chalky Island and on the Murchisons.

I have emailed the Member for Southland-Clutha for his view on the same matter.

I look forward to your early response from yourself or from the Councilor for the ward concerned.

Best regards

(name provided)

 

And he responded:

Good morning  xxxxxxx

Thank you for your email.

I am aware of the charter that was undertaken by a group from an international conservancy board.  I find it heartening that this group of people, ones that are involved in international conservation efforts at their own cost, actually get out and about to see what their money is helping to do.

I have been to all of the areas you have mentioned and I have seen the work the Department of Conservation is doing.  On one occasion I had the pleasure of releasing 2 (of 10) Takahe into the Murchison’s, a day I will always remember.

Some of this work would not be possible without the monetary efforts from a group such as you have described, so I do believe there is an innocent explanation.

As Mayor I am proud of those efforts and encourage others to do the same.  I don’t believe this was a “pile of international bankers on a tiki tour”.  I understand that it was a controlled and coordinated charter where the philanthropists gained a knowledge and understanding by seeing Fiordland up close.

I don’t believe there is anything else I can say on the matter,  but thank you for your enquiry.

Yours in Southland

Gary Tong
Mayor
Southland District Council
PO Box 903
Invercargill  9840


Feedback about The Nature Conservancy group

We have also had feedback about The Nature Conservancy group from another reader who lived in an area that was taken over by TNC. The comment is quoted below with permission, names also withheld as requested:

“…you are right about the Nature Conservancy. They bought up a large swathe of land on my former home, the island of Molokai, Hawaii. I knew a local gal there, young and strong, who quit working for them. Why? First, they fenced off the land. Then they brought in sharp shooters from airplanes to “eliminate” the”non-native species” — goats and pigs.

I overheard waterway workers complain that the dead carcasses were rotting right in there the aqueduct that goes through tunnels from that side of the island to the population on the other side — as drinking and ag water. Then they sought to eliminate the “non-native” flora. That’s why she quit. They had her spraying toxic herbicides all day long, and she was afraid of becoming sterile! Also, when they purchase a piece of land, they rope it off for “conservation” and people are not allowed to go there and enjoy the beauty any more.”

 

A big thank you to our two informants.

Photo: Resolution Island, Fiordland NZ, Wikipedia

Coromandel conservation group is calling for a halt to regional funding of toxin use on private land for wild animal control

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PRESS RELEASE:

A Coromandel conservation group is calling for a halt to regional funding of toxin use on private land for wild animal control.

The Upper Coromandel Landcare Assocation (UCLA) is asking Waikato Regional Council to suspend any further cash grants to “community” groups for placement of toxin 1080 and anticoagulant rat poisons on private properties on the peninsula.

UCLA cited a $41,000 grant to the Moehau Environment Group, a local contractor to WRC, for placement this summer of the poisons in bait stations on hundreds of hectares in Port Charles in an operation opposed by many landowners in the small community. In addition to concerns over secondary poisoning of protected native species and inhumane controls generally, local residents have objected to extreme danger from toxic animal carcasses on neighbouring properties, as well as poisons entering the food chain.

A recent memorandum from the Department of Conservation confirmed that 1080 resides in the environment and food chain after placement. The toxin has been implicated in the near-fatal poisoning of three Waikato residents after they ate wild pork.

According to UCLA spokesperson Reihana Robinson, there are safe, affordable, and acceptable alternatives to use of residual toxins, including trapping and hunting. “The $41,000 MEG grant, much of which covered 1080 poisoning on the property of the group’s own coordinator and her neighbour, is a dangerous, irresponsible, and wasteful use of regional rates dollars.”

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“Locals cannot walk dogs safely along the main road, children cannot safely explore up the Tangiaro Valley, families can not harvest nutritional wild food, and unsuspecting landowners may wind up with hazardous toxins on their own properties,” Robinson said. “And as for our tourism-based economy, visitors are being greeted with kilometres of skull-and-crossbone warning signs instead of the pristine bush they expected.”

“We are not talking conservation estate or protection of crown land. This is public funding of dangerous poisons on private properties within metres of property lines and roads, with toxins potentially migrating onto other people’s land.”

UCLA notes that hundreds of thousands of ratepayer dollars are being directed by the regional council this term to so-called “community groups” for possum, rat, and mustelid control with little or no accountability and without wider community support.

“It’s easy for council staff to farm out control work with a few big cheques to a few eco-contractors,” Robinson said. “But unfortunately, it is harmful not only to the environment, but to ratepayers and residents, and to regional council’s own relations with the wider community.”

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Singer Song-writer releases anti-1080 song “Poison Rain”

‘Poison Rain’ calls for an end to 1080 poison and other rodenticides in New Zealand, poison that is banned in many countries. The song asks for a better solution to be found, one that does not involve tons of poison continually tipped on New Zealand’s native forests.

From naturalmedicine.net.nz
by Katherine Smith

Singer-Songwriter Aly Cook as she releases a newly commissioned song ‘Poison Rain’. (Electronic Acoustic Adult Contemporary) The song has been “self penned” and co produced with Jay Pheye in his little Golden Bay Studio and mastered by Benny Tones. ‘Poison Rain’ is now available for pre-sale on Itunes with the official release being on Friday 9th of Feb.

The song may be purchased from the links below.

All proceeds from the sale of ‘Poison Rain’ will go back into paid promotion of the TV Wild video and the song to the public and to continue the lobby to the NZ Government TO BAN the USE of 1080 and similar aerial dropped poisons. :

POISON RAIN ITUNES: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/album/id1342088626

OR

Key2Store ​http://www.key2artistpromotions.com.au/store

‘Poison Rain’ calls for an end to 1080 poison and other rodenticides in New Zealand, poison that is banned in many countries. The song asks for a better solution to be found, one that does not involve tons of poison continually tipped on New Zealand’s native forests.

The song now has its own Facebok page where you can see the music video: https://www.facebook.com/stopthedropnz/videos/287934298401454/

To learn more about eh issue of 1080, one option is to watch the film Poisoning Paradisehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQRuOj96CRs

Aly Cook became intent on looking into 1080 poison after a conversation she had with friends who​featured on a TV Wild Video​. New Zealand farmers were interviewed in the video who had all suffered stock losses from 1080 poison drops. These farmers had been instructed by various government departments to put their compensation payouts down to ‘track maintenance’ or ‘stock food’, after their animals had tested positive for 1080 poisoning. Other farmers were asked to sign confidentiality clauses. ​watch the video here

This conversation lead Aly to look more into safe ways to reduce the number of stoats, rats and possums in the NZ bush. If there was nothing to hide, the farmers would not have been instructed to lie on an invoice.The more Aly looked into it, the more oxymorons she found. DOC claims 1080 did not kill invertebrates… yet 1080 was developed as an insecticide.

Aly says … “There are lies everywhere covering up, for example, the recent ‘so called’ botulism case in which a family who had consumed wild pork were hospitalised due to life-threatening illness.

(Here is the interview with the actual family and excerpts from their medical notes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6i4pZ5RYI4&t=570s)

The hunter’s dog died the day the wild pork was collected . After eating the pork it made the family so violently ill that they were thrashing around and the hospital staff had to strap them into their beds for days”.

The family tested negative for botulism yet they were not tested for 1080 poisoning until 18 days later following a lawyer being engaged by the family. I urge kiwis to watch this documentary and also think about what this is doing to our clean and green image. We have to find a better solution to pest control than this”.

READ MORE

http://www.naturalmedicine.net.nz/news/singer-song-writer-releases-anti-1080-song-poison-rain/