Tag Archives: Kea

Why is DoC set to poison Fiordland’s stoats when stoats don’t eat 1080 baits & threatened native Kea do?

WET JACKET PENINSULAS, FIORDLAND, AERIAL 1080 POISON DROP STARTS – WEEP FOR THE KEA!

By Carol Sawyer

So, here they are again and this time DoC have done a wee conjuring trick and say it is for stoats (there being no rats). Stoats don’t eat 1080 baits.”

“We have an estimated 1,000 Kea left in the wild in New Zealand….. in the whole world in fact, as they are endemic – i.e.they exist only here! The latest 1080 poison drop in the Matukituki Valley, Mt Aspiring National Park, February 2020, killed 50% of the Kea. More than that will die in the Wet Jacket Peninsulas drop because it is midwinter and the Kea are very hungry.”


Do you know what happens to 1080-poisoned Kea? They stagger around taking hours and hours to die. They bury their heads in the snow to try and get relief from the pain. Dr.Jo Pollard says “The keas’ deaths will be horrific, with extreme muscular spasms going on for many hours.” David Attenborough called them the most intelligent bird in the world. They are the world’s only alpine parrot.

Three BK-117 helicopters – ZK-IME (a.k.a Big Red the Rescue Helicopter), ZK-HJK,(white), and ZK-HEM, (red and white), and a Longranger, all belonging to HeliOtago Ltd, left Dunedin at 6.30 pm this evening heading west to be in place for starting their evil work tomorrow morning. Seven choppers arrived at Monowai tonight… yet to find out if they are all HeliOtago Ltd or if three are from another company. I have been told HeliOtago Ltd flew the prefeed baits from a private farm property at Monowai, last weekend.

This area has never before been poisoned. The drop was planned for last October but there were NO rats so it was postponed and, I am told, the poison that had been brought south for the drop was instead used in the Kepler Mountains drop last March, which was squeezed in just before lockdown…. I’m informed they added on the Princess Mountains to use all the extra poison up. No monitoring done there apparently.

So, here they are again and this time DoC have done a wee conjuring trick and say it is for stoats (there being no rats). Stoats don’t eat 1080 baits.

I can tell you what it WILL kill in large numbers… Kea. As the area has never before been poisoned there are many Kea reported to be in the area. (A while back a pilot sent me a photo of seven Kea that landed beside him when he touched down there.)

We have an estimated 1,000 Kea left in the wild in New Zealand….. in the whole world in fact, as they are endemic – i.e.they exist only here! The latest 1080 poison drop in the Matukituki Valley, Mt Aspiring National Park, February 2020, killed 50% of the Kea. More than that will die in the Wet Jacket Peninsulas drop because it is midwinter and the Kea are very hungry.

The Empire of the Dept of Conservation, greedy helicopter companies, and all their parasitic acolytes WILL fall… but it will be too late for the Kea.

Any of you gutless DoC employees reading this who put your personal livelihoods before your knowledge of this travesty and the horror it entails, and keep your mouths shut pleading “I can’t afford to lose my job”… hang your heads in shame why don’t you! You know who you are!

Ditto the local media who know about this drop and are too scared to touch it and tell the truth. You know who you are too.

Kea photo: Clyde Graf

Government poisoning of World Heritage sites in NZ – an open letter from Dr Jo Pollard to IUCN World Headquarters

Peter Shadie
Director, IUCN World Heritage Programme
IUCN World Headquarters
Rue Mauverney 28
1196 Gland
Switzerland
email: peter.shadie@iucn.org

11 June 2020

Dear Mr Shadie

Re: Government poisoning of World Heritage sites in New Zealand – Open letter

I am writing to bring your attention to the serious issue of the New Zealand Government’s aerial poisoning of a World Heritage site and hope that you will urgently contact the World Heritage Committee so they may act on this matter. The 40,000 ha Wet Jacket area is to be aerially poisoned this month under contract to the government’s Department of Conservation (DoC). This poisoning is not justified as the appropriate scientific or technical measure necessary for the conservation of this site, and would breach New Zealand’s obligations under the World Heritage Convention.

The contractor’s application to DoC (attached) to poison the Wet Jacket area describes a hotspot of biodiversity, home to at least 17 species of endangered birds as well as 25 other species of birds. Six species of lizard have been recorded including the rare Fiordland skink. The invertebrate fauna is described as “not fully explored” and “distinctive and important” (Contract Wild Animal Control, 2019).

The 1080 poison to be used is broad spectrum, affecting organisms that breathe oxygen (ERMA, 2007). It is added to cereal food baits and distributed from hoppers carried beneath helicopters. The distribution process creates fragments (Morgan et al. 2015) and dust (Wright et al., 2002). Native lizards, birds and invertebrates are all known to feed on the cereal bait (ERMA 2007). The poison is highly toxic, readily contaminates despite stringent precautions, travels rapidly in water and up food chains, causes reproductive defects across a vast range of species and has highly variable effects which remain poorly understood, with studies being sparse and of poor quality (ERMA, 2007).

Due to poor monitoring, effects of 1080 poisoning on populations of most NZ native animals are unknown (ERMA, 2007; Whiting-O’Keefe & Whiting-O’Keefe, 2007). Only six species of birds were reported as reliably monitored through 1080 drops. Of those, fernbirds suffered most with an estimated 9% loss of the local population per poisoning (Fairweather et al., 2015). Kea have also been intensively monitored, with the finding that on average 12% of birds are killed per operation (DoC, 2016).

The Application to poison the Wet Jacket area shows significant shortcomings, as follow.

Benefits

The reason given for poisoning the Wet Jacket area is to “protect the health and integrity of the flora and fauna susceptible to predation by rats, stoats and possums.” It lists animal species it considers particularly in need of protection: bats, kiwi, parakeets, kea and fiordland crested penguins.

These claims of susceptibility are not referenced or supported by scientific observations. In fact, it was concluded twice that predation was not a problem to kea (Jackson, 1969; Elliot & Kemp, 1999). Short-tailed bats were considered relatively safe from predators, being fast and agile, fiercely mobbing intruders and choosing winter roosts that were inaccessible (Lloyd et al., 2005). “Evidence” of predation of long tailed bats was just an observed association between low bat survival and high rat numbers (Pryde et al 2005; O’Donnell et al., 2011). Doc has attributed failures of some of its invasively monitored bird nests to predators, however they are not representative of undisturbed nests (Ellenberg et al., 2015).

Costs

Known costs left out of the Application include negative ecological effects from aerial poisoning. In many cases, rat numbers rebound to vast new heights within months (Innes et al., 1995; 2010; Powlesland et al., 1999; Ruscoe et al. 2008; Sweetapple et al., 2006). This effect can decimate prey such as invertebrates (Sweetapple & Nugent, 2007). Re-poisoning of rats is likely to become less and less effective due to the rats learning and developing physical tolerance (Byrom et al., 2013; Mitel, 2016; Pollard, 2016). Thus the Eglinton Valley (also in World Heritage site Fiordland National Park) has just received its fourth aerial poisoning in five years (2014, 2016, 2019, 2020). Despite increasing the intensity of the poisoning for rats in September 2019 (DoC, 2019a) another poisoning was carried out this May.

Mouse numbers usually increase soon after aerial poisoning (Innes et al., 1995; Sweetapple & Nugent, 2007, Ruscoe et al., 2008). The increases in rodents during the months after poisoning create ideal conditions to for stoats to flourish (Byrom et al., 2013). In addition, stoats that survived aerial poisoning were found to switch from eating rats to eating native birds (Murphy et al., 1988).

The Application contains no discussion of the conservation importance of the loss of kea, with previous studies indicating a 12% loss of local birds is expected. DoC claims that kea in remote areas are unlikely to get poisoned, however 9% of marked birds were killed by 1080 in an area chosen by DoC to represent remoteness (Kemp et al., 2016 unpublished). The total number of wild kea left is unknown and possibly less than 1000 ((Bond & Diamond, 1992; Harper, 2012; Roy, 2016).

Issues not addressed

Important issues left out of the Application include how much bait will enter the marine area; what effects there will be of baits, fragments and dust in the littoral zone (e.g. on penguins) and in the productive areas of shallow, still water; what will the effects be of the predicted “zero grazing ungulates” (being the last large grazing animals left); what are the chances of cold weather killing off rats in winter if they are left unpoisoned; should a highly diverse, unexplored ecological community be poisoned to try to make it better; what will be done if pest animal numbers are low, without poisoning.

DoC has a strong track record in misleading, pro-poisoning behaviour. It intrudes on nesting birds, attaches equipment to them and their nests, blames predators for nesting failures, then uses the poor nesting results to justify predator control (e.g. for kea (Kemp et al., 2014, unpublished), mohua (Elliott 1996), kiwi (Waterworth, 2019) and kaka (Moorhouse et al., 2003)). It quotes increased “nesting success” as an indication of a bird population’s positive response to poisoning, but nesting success is likely to increase if a population is culled (Nilsson 1984; Arcese & Smith 1988). “Five minute bird counts” are used by DoC to assess bird numbers. This method is notoriously unreliable (Westbrooke & Powlesland 2005; ERMA 2007; Green & Pryde 2012; Hartley 2012), due to major problems such as bird calls increasing after poisoning as birds try to find their dead partners and family, or search for new company.

DoC’s pro-poisoning bias and lack of scientific honesty are also apparent in its publications. For example a stoat plague that followed DoC’s aerial poisoning at Okarito (Kemp et al., 2015, unpublished) was truncated from the published graph (Kemp et al., 2017), despite this being an important outcome. In another example, in a study on bats after a 1080 operation, the contents of one bat roost tree had spilled onto open ground. Inspection revealed a baby bat with placenta attached, which tested positive for 1080. Other roosts in the study were inspected for dead and dying bats by roost camera “where practical” (Edmonds & Pryde, 2015). The published paper has a re-worded section of the original report that now insinuates all roosts were searched equally for dead babies (Edmonds et al., 2017).

The claim that some Eglinton Valley birds are prospering due to DoC’s 1080 poisoning (Minister of Conservation’s media release 11/4/20) is impossible to make: poison in bait stations and trapping are used to try to control mammals in the Eglinton Valley and any separate effects of 1080 cannot be assessed. Mohua (including some from the Wet Jacket area) were restocked there in 2010, 2015 and 2017.

Due to low rodent densities the Wet Jacket area poisoning was postponed in October 2019 (DoC, 2019c). The poisoning has since been promoted in the media as being needed to kill stoats, on the unscientific basis that local, heavily monitored kiwi chicks haven’t been surviving (Waterworth, 2020). These locally monitored kiwi weren’t even mentioned in the Application. There may be a very low stoat kill rate if there is a lack of poisoned rats for them to eat. If the poisoning proceeds regardless of low pest numbers, this will not be unusual. Makarora was poisoned in 2017 for rats despite low numbers (data accessed 22/3/17 via Official Information Act request); poisoning of Arthurs Pass in 2019 went ahead with no rats (data accessed 8/10/19) (mice were present but 1080 pellets are not usually eaten by mice (Fisher & Airey, 2009).

A fraction of the resources being used to poison the Wet Jacket area could support careful, scientific studies of the biodiversity and ecology of the area before a management plan is decided upon. Where populations of rare organisms are considered in immediate danger, localised, benign management can be applied, such as tree banding and caging, and protecting nesting kiwi and kea from DoC staff.

I trust you will act to prevent the unfounded wholesale poisoning of this precious site.

Yours sincerely

Dr Joanna Pollard (BSc (Hons), PhD)

See the IUCN reply to Dr Pollard below references.

References

Arcese, P., Smith, J.M., 1988. Effects of population density and supplemental food on reproduction in song sparrows. Journal of Animal Ecology 57: 119-136.

Bond, A., Diamond, J., 1992. Population estimates of Kea in Arthur’s Pass National Park. Notornis 39: 151-160.

Byrom, A., Banks, P., Dickman, C. & Pech, R., 2013. Will reinvasion stymie large-scale eradication of invasive mammals in New Zealand? Kararehe Kino 21: 6-7.

Contract Wild Animal Control, 2019b. Completed DoC Application form for predator control in the Wet Jacket Area. 34 pp.

DoC, 2016. Aerial 1080 in kea habitat. Code of Practice. NZ Department of Conservation Unclassified document. 24 pp.

DoC, 2019a. Application for DoC permission to use vertebrate VTAs assessment report: Clinton and Eglinton catchments. 11 pp.

DoC, 2019b. https://www.doc.govt.nz/our-work/monitoring-reporting/national-status-and-trend-reports-2018-2019/?report=TaxaUnderManagement_Ltbats

DoC, 2019c. Revocation permission ID DoC 5909386.

Edmonds, H., Pryde, M., 2015. Eglinton Valley lesser short-tailed bat monitoring programme 2014/2015. DOCDM 1568082 15 pp.

Edmonds, H., Pryde, M., O’Donnell, C., 2017. Survival of PIT-tagged lesser short-tailed bats (Mystacina tuberculata) through an aerial 1080 pest control. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 17: 186-192.

Ellenberg, U., Edwards, E., Mattern, T., Hiscock, J.A., Wilson, R. & Edmonds, H., 2015. Assessing the impact of nest searches on breeding birds – a case study on Fiordland crested penguins (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus). New Zealand Journal of Ecology 39: 231-244.

Elliott, G.,  Kemp, J., 1999. Conservation ecology of kea (Nestor notabilis). WWF-NZ Final Report 1 August 1999, 64 pp.

ERMA Review, 2007. Environmental Risk Management Authority’s reassessment of 1080, 2007, Application HRE05002.

Fairweather, A, Broome, K., Fisher, P., 2015. Sodium fluoroacetate pesticide information review. Department of Conservation Report Docdm-25427. 103 pp.

Fisher, P., Airey, A.T., 2009. Factors affecting 1080 pellet bait acceptance by house mice (Mus musculus). Department of Conservation DOC Research & Development Series Feb-Mar 305-308

Greene, T.C., Pryde, M.A., 2012. Three population estimation methods compared for a known South Island robin population in Fiordland, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 36: 340-252.

Guthrie, 2017.  https://predatorfreenz.org/long-term-study-reveals-bat-response-predator-control/

Harper, P., 2012. DOC shocked five Kea shot dead. Nestor Notabilis 6: 24.

Hartley, LJ 2012. Five-minute bird counts in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 36: 268-278.

Innes, J., Kelly, D., Overton, J., Gilles, C. 2010. Predation and other factors currently limiting New Zealand forest birds. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 34: 86-114.

Innes, J., Warburton, B., Williams, D., Speed, H., Bradfield, P. 1995. Large-scale poisoning of ship rats (Rattus rattus) in indigenous forests of the North Island, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 19: 5-17.

Jackson, J.R., 1969. What do keas die of? Notornis 16: 33-44.

Kemp, J., Orr-Walker, T., Elliott, G., Adams, N., Fraser, J., Roberts, L., Mosen, C., Amey, J., Barrett, B., Makan, T., 2014, unpublished.  Benefits to kea (Nestor notabilis) populations from invasive mammal control via aerial 1080 baiting. Department of Conservation. 29 pp.

Kemp, J., Cunninghame, F., Barrett, B., Makan, T., Fraser, J., Mosen, C., 2015, unpublished. Effect of an aerial 1080 operation on the productivity of the kea (Nestor notabilis) in a West Coast rimu forest. Department of Conservation report. 15 pp.

Kemp, J., Hunter, C., Mosen, C., Elliott, G., 2016, unpublished. Draft: Kea population responses to aerial 1080 treatment in South Island landscapes. Department of Conservation, 14 pp.

Kemp, J., Mosen, C., Elliott, G., Hunter, C., 2018. Effects of the aerial application of 1080 to control pest mammals on kea reproductive success, New Zealand Journal of Ecology 42: 158-168.

King, 1984. Immigrant Killers. Introduced Predators and the conservation of birds in New Zealand. Oxford University Press.

Mitel, S., 2016. https://timnovate.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/the-mice-and-rats-are-winning/

Moorhouse, R., Greene, T., Dilks, P., Powlesland, R., Moran, L., Taylor, G., Jones, A., Knegtmans, J., Wills, D., Pryde, M., Fraser, I., August, A., August, C. 2003: Control of introduced mammalian predators improves kaka Nestor meridionalis breeding success: reversing the decline of a threatened New Zealand parrot. Biological Conservation 110: 33–44.

Morgan, D., Hickling, G. 2000. Techniques Used for Poisoning Possums, in TL Montague (ed. The brushtail possum: biology, impact and management, Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln, pp. 143-153.

Murphy, E., Clapperton, B., Bradfield, P., Speed, H. 1998. Effects of rat-poisoning on abundance and diet of mustelids in New Zealand podocarp forests. NZ J Zoology 25: 315-328.

Nilsson, S.G., 1984. The evolution of nest-site selection among hole-nesting birds: The importance of nest predation and competition. Ornis Scandinavica 15: 167-175.

Pollard. J.C., 2016. Aerial 1080 poisoning in New Zealand: Reasons for concern.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308712508_Aerial_1080_poisoning_in_New_Zealand_Reasons_for_concern 17 pp.

Powlesland, R., Knegtmans, J., Marshall, I. 1999. Costs and benefits of aerial 1080 possum control operations using carrot baits to North Island Robins (Petroica australis longipes), Pureora Forest Park. NZ J Ecology 23: 149-159.

Roy, E.A., 2016. New Zealand kea, the world’s only alpine parrot, faces extinction

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/21/new-zealand-kea-the-worlds-only-alpine-parrot-faces-extinction

Ruscoe, W., Sweetapple, P., Yockney, I., Pech, R., Barron, M., Cave, S., Ramsey, D. 2008. Interactions of mammalian pest populations following control. Kararehe Kino Vertebrate Pest Research 13: 4-6.

Sweetapple, P., Nugent, G., Poutu, N., Horton, P. 2006. Effect of reduced possum density on rodent and stoat abundance in podocarp-hardwood forests. Science for Conservation 231. 25 pp.

Sweetapple, P & Nugent, G 2007 Secondary Effects of Possum Control. Kararehe Kino 11: 9-10.

Waterworth, K., 2019. https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/southland/stoat-chick-toll-erasing-tokoeka

Waterworth, K., 2020. https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/fiordland/poison-drop-stop-predation-kiwi

Westbrooke, I.M., Powlesland, R.G., 2005. Comparison of impact between carrot and cereal 1080 baits on tomtits (Petroica macrocephala). New Zealand Journal of Ecology 29: 143-147.

Whiting O’Keefe, P., Whiting-O’Keefe, Q., Aerial monofluoroactate in New Zealand’s forests. An appraisal of the scientific evidence. 89 pp.

Wright, G., Booth, L., Morriss, G., Potts, M., Brown, L., Eason, C. 2002. Assessing potential environmental contamination from compound 1080 (sodium monofluoroacetate) in bait dust during possum control operations. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Science 45: 57-65.

IUCN’S REPLY TO DR POLLARD:

Recent Posts

SOURCE: https://1080science.co.nz/open-letter-to-iucn-world-headquarters-government-poisoning-of-world-heritage-sites-in-nz/?fbclid=IwAR3XmOuGGnNLql2ZAxmpduWPPE5nETwBukOzfrN96kglEOWUp8OyPEmC6Xk

Header Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay (text added)

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

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 are only likely to eat baits if people have conditioned them through providing food previously. DoC’s own research shows that this is not true. 9% of monitored kea (2/22) died at Kahurangi, a site chosen by DoC precisely because of its remoteness.

The fallacy of this claim is clear to anyone with experience of kea. They are curious to examine and pull anything new apart – as motorists will often attest after even the briefest of encounters with these inquisitive creatures. Scientists consider that this trait is likely an adaptation to living in a harsh environment, where food can be very hard to find, especially in winter (when 50% or more of kea juveniles are likely to die of starvation). Before the advent of DoC, helicopters and a toxin designed to kill everything from microbes to mammals, a willingness to try a new food source undoubtedly played a key role in the birds’ survival.

Myth 2. Kea nests need protection from stoats and 1080 poison provides that protection. Two studies have shown that the presence of stoats does not bother kea (in 1969, then again in 1999). Even if stoats were a problem for kea, 1080 would not fix the situation, quite the reverse. Scientists found that stoats became more likely to eat birds after 1080 drops. Why? Because rats, a primary source of food for the stoats, have been almost wiped out.

Mice do not usually eat 1080 baits so, in the absence of hungry rats, their numbers boom in the aftermath of a 1080 drop – a fact easily established by a review of the literature. Rat numbers, usually low immediately after 1080 operations, rebound strongly within months – often peaking at figures far higher than were present pre-drop. The population booms of mice and rats that are caused by 1080 drops are never highlighted by DoC, although they are easily seen in many studies. Those booms are likely to fuel stoat plagues as a new generation of mustelids arrives to find a larder overflowing with rodents.

Journalist Dave Hansford last year made the dubious claim that because of the “benefit” of 1080 to kea breeding, up to 22% of kea could die before there would be a net loss (Spinoff, August 2019). A 50% death rate would surely be tragic then, even to a journalist with an extreme pro-1080 bias!

Nature lovers should be very concerned because the monitoring of kea throughout 1080 drops is unique. No other native species: microbe, plant, insect or bird has been given even a tiny fraction of the attention or resources that have been used to monitor kea. 1080 is broad spectrum, highly toxic, spreads rapidly, travels up food chains, binds to cellulose and has extreme, unexpected effects. What is happening to everything else that lives in our forests, wetlands, grasslands and mountain tarns?

1080 poison may have a dual function for DoC. Not only does it attract an enormous amount of government funding, its use may help divert concern away from other ways in which vital habitat is being lost through poor management and financial interests. Examples are DoC’s approving high quotas for tourist helicopter flights (80 per day were planned for the remote Darran mountains) and the continued mining of conservation land (despite government promises to curb it).

The public needs to wake up to the fact there is no “science” behind DoC’s aerial poisoning. Mast-driven rodent plagues, often used to justify aerial poisoning, have been around since the time of the kiore. They are part of a general, short term increase in productivity including bird breeding. Effects are not something DoC needs to try to control with aerial poison, it should follow the evidence and stop blindly interfering in a process that it is simply not equipped to control.

Healthy populations of native birds, such as mohua and kakariki, lived in many places around the South Island until DoC started “helping” them by interfering with nests and trapping out the main rat predator (stoats). Rat numbers escalated, bird numbers plummeted, then broad spectrum 1080 poison was applied.

DoC’s science-less management shows a complete lack of respect for NZ’s ecological heritage and the legal mandate it holds to conserve it. Kea, much loved and admired, seem destined for the same fate as other species that have suffered from DoC’s “helping hand”. DoC needs to leave them and everything else alone, now.

For references and more information visit www.1080science.co.nz

Photo: Pixabay.com

Conservationists in NZ sounding the alarm over drop in the numbers of the famously inquisitive kea bird

DoC of course are blaming the feeding of kea, do read the information from Dr Jo Pollardto put that one to rest. EWR

from the Otago Daily Times

There are thought to be between 1,000 and 5,000 of the alpine parrots left in New Zealand, and the Kea Conservation Trust says it’s seen a fall in the population in the South Island’s Hawdon Valley in recent years. “When you go up into the mountains, the numbers are really concerning,” volunteer Mark Brabyn tells Stuff.co.nz. “We don’t want to wait until there is only a couple of hundred left to do something.”

Kea are known for their trusting nature around humans, often approaching passers by and happily gobbling up junk food. But that’s part of the problem. Gorging on ice cream and chips left over by hikers – or sometimes fed directly to the birds – can end up killing them. Stoats are another major threat, destroying all six kea nests in the area last year with no chicks surviving, Mr Brabyn says.

The government has previously admitted that the controversial poison 1080, which is dropped from the air to kill predators, is also responsible for killing some kea. Studies are being carried out to determine whether the poison is an overall help or hindrance to the birds.

The Kea Conservation Trust is now trying to crowdfund a mobile app to track kea with the public’s help. Anyone who encounters a tagged bird would be able to input its tag number to learn more about that individual, log its location, condition and behaviour, and even upload photos. “It would give us such valuable information about numbers and how far they were travelling, and would raise awareness about the bird. People would be connecting and caring,” Mr Brabyn says.

As far as predators go, New Zealand’s government wants to rid the whole country of stoats, rats and possums by 2050, saying these non-native animals kill 25 million native birds each year. But the kea’s inquisitive nature can make even well-meaning pest control efforts difficult.

In February, seven of the birds died after breaking into stoat traps to get at the egg and meat bait inside, prompting the Department of Conservation to modify 700 traps to make them kea-proof. Current research into traps involves stoat anal glands, which presumably won’t attract curious birds.

SOURCE

https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/wanaka/kea-likely-killed-1080-doc?fbclid=IwAR22SOHfIvTohLfC_Dg_L5AFdd9tiBy2ZS66dgCdO5I5TOH8pnUTjh9odOY

 

Image by cernazu1 from Pixabay

DoC’s own census on Kea numbers reveals a decline from 60,000 in the 1970s, to an estimated 1 to 4,000 now … an open letter to Amanda Gillies

AN OPEN LETTER TO AMANDA GILLIES by Jeff Patchett

(posted by Carol Sawyer)

“Our little piece of paradise was ruined for ever”

Introduction: On yesterday’s ‘AM Show’, the usual garbage about people opposed to 1080 was spouted by Duncan Garner and Mark Richardson. (Go to ‘The AM Show Catch-Up’, 9 March, 2020 – and fast forward to 2 hours, 25 minutes.) According to them, anti-1080 people are a ‘loud, ignorant, uneducated group” of “extremists”. Amanda Gillies said there may be some issues with 1080 but she didn’t think it was “the devil incarnate”. However Amanda was not strident and fixed in her views than the other two, so Jeff Patchett of Brightwater, Nelson wrote her a letter. Here it is:

“Dear Amanda,

I am writing to you specifically because I respect you and your values. You have a compassionate heart.

I have always been a fan of The A.M. Show until Duncan Garner suggested Willie Apiata take some of the anti-1080 people into the bush and deal with them. I was absolutely appalled at these comments. My family here in Blenheim lost five men in the First World War (1914 Blenheim population approx. 2000). My Dad and uncle both served in WW2. Dad had an especially torrid time, as he fought at Monte Casino, one of the War’s most horrific battles. For Garner to say that he wished Willie would use some of his special skill set on fellow Kiwis makes a croc of shit out of the family fighting and dying for the Freedom of Speech. Is that not hate speech?

Anyway I didn’t watch you guys again until recently and nothing’s changed. The A.M. Show had a young speaker.. a man from “Forest and Bird” welcoming the government’s new initiative on Predator Free 2050. He is in a paid job and is only spouting his puppet masters’ views. How long would anyone in Forest and Bird, OSPRI, or DoC last if they had the balls to speak the truth on 1080 ? ‘Forest and Bird’ wrote to the Dept of Conservation in the mid-seventies, telling DoC they were not happy with the number of native birds 1080 was killing each year. Something changed their minds and they are now fully behind its use.

Garner mentioned (former Parliamentary Commissoner for the Environment) Jan Wright and her change of heart with 1080. (Please look up 1080science.co.nz and read for yourself how much the old girl got wrong).

I was 100% for 1080 in 1998 when the ‘powers that be’ came knocking to say we needed 1080 to kill the possums that infected my large cattle herd with bovine TB. (Australia has possums, they are protected natives and they have never been linked to TB. Incidentally bovine TB has been eradicated in Australia since 2002.)

Like most people in 1998, we knew nothing of 1080 and if it got rid of TB we would welcome it. I even suggested they could land the choppers on our lawn if it helped. Well, they completed the drop and buggered off and left us to it. A few days passed and my neighbour told us that he had just found our pet Wekas in the house water supply. I spent the next three weeks dragging dead pigs, deer, and a large assortment of birds from the creek, and its many tributaries, that was our drinking water. I was the only one in our family to get a guts ache from the water.

About a month went by and the full impact of the drop hit us. The bush that normally teemed with birds was quiet. We have never seen a single Tomtit or heard a Ruru, even to this day. Our little piece of paradise was ruined for ever.

Things got worse though. After Christmas dinner we walked to the top of our mountain (Mt.Patriarch) and waited for the Kea to show up. Even their high-pitched screams would have been enough, but not even that happened. My son and I visited the tops several more times and again no Kea. They were gone. Generations of people had witnessed these cheeky birds and DoC had killed the lot – all 23 of them gone.

I then followed up on other Kea colonies that I knew of. They all seemed to disappear after 1080 drops. Mt Robert, the Rainbow, and Ferny Gair all had Kea until 1080 was used. I believe there are now no Kea in Marlborough. These declines in Kea numbers are reflected in DoC’s own census – sixty thousand in the 1970’s, to between one thousand and four thousand now. I personally believe the number to be less than a thousand ( 600?). Rats, stoats, and possums were about in the 1970’s in as big a number as today. The Kea’s habitat has not changed at all, and even redneck Mark Richardson and Duncan Garner would have to agree that DoC’s ‘lead head nail’ story is absolute bullshit. DoC have, with the help of OSPRI, put our alpine clown bird on the endangered list. They will make them extinct in the wild the way they are going.

Contrary to what redneck Mark said about anti-1080 people being a fringe element there are 300,000 people on ‘Ban 1080’ sites. We are bigger than “Forest and Bird”. We are made up of all sorts of folk. We have scientists (two in my family alone), builders, lawyers, doctors, teachers, anyone who can think for themselves and anyone who takes the time to look into the 1080 issue with an open mind. Also there are thousands who, like me, have witnessed the horror of 1080 for themselves. In 2018 a poll of newspaper readers in Blenheim was taken by the Marlborough Express on the banning of 1080. Almost four thousand people responded – 85% against 1080. On the West Coast of the South Island a survey found that figure to be a massive 93% against 1080. Even DoC’s own poll in 2016 had the anti-1080’s at over 60%.

Most anti-1080 people have more then one reason why 1080 should go. Here are mine:

1) It is extremely cruel. I have lost six dogs to it and have witnessed one dog die from it. Not very pleasant.

2) It has entered our food chain. Wild game and some fish with sub-lethal doses. Also what about the cattle and sheep that have eaten it and not died from it ?

3) Tourists are responding negatively to the signage. Trout fishermen are no longer coming.

4) The users of 1080 are not following the guidelines – i.e. keep out of water, bury dead animals, pick up unused bait.

5) It’s killing non-target animals. A survey of 10% of NZ vets in one year put the tally of 1080-poisoned dogs brought to them at 65. (Former PCE Jan Wright knew of only 7 poisoned dogs. There were 18 poisoned dogs in our 1080 drop alone.)

6) It is a teratogen – i.e.causes abnormalities to the unborn. DoC are finding this in baby Kea and other birds.

7) 1080 has ruined a very valuable export market. The wild game and fur industries were huge in the 1970’s – 80’s. Probably worth half a billion in today’s money.

8) Takes natural food away from people who can’t afford to pay for meat. This has a huge impact on families in the far north and on the West Coast.

9) Clean and Green NZ. Yeah right. “Forest and Bird’ and DoC always say “Look at the science”. Their own scientist in the 1960’s told them it would be a disaster to use 1080 ( Dr. Mike Mead). His scientist peers agreed, but it still happened.

Most of DoC’s ‘science’ can be picked to bits with not much trouble. There are dozens of far cleverer people than the underpaid DoC scientists, and if TV3 gave them a chance to speak ,on nationwide TV, 1080 would be gone tomorrow.

All I wish, Amanda, is that you look into 1080 with an open mind. Mark has self-promotion and the National Party on his, so I would never expect any change in his attitude. Duncan Garner acts out of ignorance and I bet he has never for one moment thought an opposing view on 1080. Maori believe the Morepork (Ruru) takes their soul to heaven. Duncan won’t get there because that particular bird will be dead (extinct) long before he is.

Kind regards,

Jeff Patchett
Brightwater
Nelson”

 

Photos below – Mt Patriarch from Jeff Patchett’s farm – Photo Jeff Patchett; Tomtit (male) Pixabay; Kea feeding chick, Fiordland 1920, DoC files.

 

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RELATED: DOC’s dubious ‘success’ rate with 1080 – $3.5 billion, a decade later and not a single endangered bird species in recovery 

Header Image by Ildigo from Pixabay

Re unlawful acts of the Crown regarding 1080 poison: A NZ lawyer with multiple science degrees is expert witness at the Intl Tribunal for Natural Justice

Lawyer, Sue Grey testifies to a number of unlawful acts of the crown and its contractors who have been aerially spreading deadly poison, called 1080, on DOC land, Maori Land and private land. Sue and her team has identified over 10 possible legal challenges involving apparent criminal or civil breaches of statutory obligations by DoC, OSPRI and/or poison contractors. Sue Grey testified on June 23, 2019 before the ITNJ Commission of Inquiry into Weaponisation of the Biosphere. Watch all the Indonesia Seatings at https://commission.itnj.org Help continue this work and expose the next phase of expert witness testimonies. http://www.itnj.org


Read info below also, from the

Ecocide in NZ  facebook page

“Sue Grey Testimony on New Zealand’s Ecocide with the use of 1080 Poison

The ITNJ opens its Commission of Inquiry into the Weaponisation of the Biosphere with stunning testimony from New Zealand expert witness Sue Grey, in what she describes as ‘ecocide’ and ‘a war on nature’.

A lawyer and activist with multiple science degrees and over 30 years’ experience in environmental health policy, Sue testifies to the devastation being caused to New Zealand’s native wildlife and ecosystems through the systematic and widespread aerial poisoning with the chemical Sodium Fluoroacetate, commonly known as “1080” Poison.

Four hundred million 1080 pellets (enough to kill over a hundred million people) will be spread by helicopter this year over much of the country’s land and waterways, in a longstanding Crown sponsored program, its stated purpose: to preserve native wildlife by eradicating non-native stoats and rats. However, the cereal baits attract many other species of insects, birds, and mammals, contaminating the food chain and cruelly killing thousands of “non-target” species including deer, farmed stock and dogs. There has been a drastic impact on Kea (native parrots) and cereal baits are known to poison many other species of native bird including iconic Kiwi and Weka.

Birds and animals can be poisoned by eating the bait directly, drinking from poisoned waterways, or by feeding on the carcasses of poisoned animals. Evidence also exists that 1080 has made it its way up the food chain into wild pork, farmed cows and honey, and is also suspected to have poisoned humans, many of whom Grey has represented.

Despite many years of campaigning, lawsuits, public outcry, and official statistics that prove its catastrophic failure, the New Zealand government refuses to take responsibility and bring an end to the serious threats posed by this program to New Zealand’s ecosystem and its inhabitants.

ABOUT THE ITNJ: The ITNJ is the world’s first people-powered tribunal that operates independently of governments and corporations, and is therefore willing to issue rulings against those organizations based on Natural Law, where agents of governments and/or corporations have caused harm or loss to living men and women, and in this case, matters that relate to the weaponization of our biosphere and the existential ecocide and genocidal threat against humanity.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT: commission.itnj.org CONTACT:press@itnj.org
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ITNJ, PLEASE SEE: www.itnj.org / itnjcommittee.org
FOR PRINT QUALITY PHOTOGRAPHS PLEASE CONTACT: media@itnj.org

https://commission.itnj.org/…/expert-witness-testimony-fro…/

A whole flock numbering hundreds of Kea wiped out in one 1080 drop – a farmer speaks out

By Carol Sawyer

“I USED TO HAVE A HUGE FLOCK OF KEA AROUND MY FARM DOWN THE WEST COAST…

..and when they did a big 1080 drop, maybe 12 or 15 years ago, they completely wiped this flock of several hundred, possibly as many as a thousand, Kea out in one fell swoop. They were all dead within days. The tops around the farm were from that point on, until I sold it and left, were silent.

Also all the bush falcons get wiped out in the bush, harrier hawks, etc…

the destruction that it causes is incredible.

Whenever you do a survey in the bush after a big 1080 drop you will find all sorts of dead birds, including the insect-eating birds.”

 

EWR COMMENT:

NZ’s kea are close to extinction.
RELATED:

WITH A LONG HISTORY OF POISONING KEA, DOC IS SET TO FINISH OFF WHAT REMAINS – DR JO POLLARD

See further articles on topic at this link:
https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/?s=kea

If you are new to the 1080 poisoning program, here is a good article to start with …

WHY ARE PEOPLE SO CONCERNED ABOUT 1080?

A must watch also is Poisoning Paradise, the doco made by the GrafBoys (banned from screening on NZ TV, yet a 4x international award winner). Their website is tv-wild.com. Their doco is a very comprehensive overview with the independent science to illustrate the question marks that remain over the use of this poison. There are links also on our 1080 resources page to most of the groups, pages, sites etc that will provide you with further information.

Check out the 1080 pages at the main menu, particularly the sub tab, ‘suspected 1080 poisoning cases’. Finally, remember what the retired MD Charlie Baycroft said recently …‘if you die from 1080 poisoning, nobody will know  because the Ministry of Health is bullying NZ Doctors into not testing for 1080′. 

Finally a note re commenting:

Whilst your comments are welcome, this is a venue for independent info. Please discuss/debate your pro poison thoughts in mainstream where they’re welcomed & independent info is not. You will find the independent science at 1080science.co.nz  Or search other articles in categories at the top, left hand side of the page.

A NZ ecologist firmly believes the near extinction of our Kea & Rock Wren is due to the continued use of 1080

WITNESSING THE EXTINCTION OF SPECIES

From Carol Sawyer

By Bill Wallace, (Leader of the Ban1080 Party and a qualified ecologist), April 22, 2017

The first Department of Conservation radio-tagging trial with Kea during an aerial 1080 poisoning operation was in 2008. Of the 17 monitored Kea at Franz Josef, 7 died of 1080 poisoning. (40% mortality)

DoC’s excuse at the time “may have been because juvenile Kea in the area had a habit of investigating “human-type” junk foods. .” (ODT 2/08/08)

In 2008 The Dominion Post obtained a draft internal report by DOC after the 7 deaths. The report says “aerial 1080 may well be a significant threat to the Kea population” with some drops “probably devastating”…

DoC’s Dr. Josh Kemp said “The Franz Josef Kea deaths had “shocked and stunned” DOC” (Stuff 28/01/09)

But Kea deaths from 1080 poison have been proven for over 52 years.

In 1964 Protection Forest workers picked up 4 dead Kea and 8 dead seagulls after a single 1080 drop. The birds tested positive for 1080 poisoning. (M.H.Douglas: Control of Tahr: Evaluation of a Poisoning Technique July 1966).

To find 12 large poisoned birds on foot would indicate the death rate must have been devastating for all the bird species in the area. DoC like to blame the decline in Kea numbers on early bounties. “ Kea had numbered in the hundreds of thousands but were devastated when a bounty was paid to kill them because of concerns they attacked stock.” (Press 29/07/08)

In 2011, DoC poisoned 7 out of 11 Kea at North Okarito ( 60% mortality). DoC’s excuse this time “It seemed likely the more open nature of the North Okarito forest was a factor, Mr Costello said” (ODT 12/09/11)

DoC then went on in 2013 to kill 5 radio-tagged Kea at Arthur’s Pass, DoC’s excuse this time “the repellent was less than the target concentration”( Stuff 21/08/13)

If such inane, puerile excuses were put forward by CYPS or the Police next time a vulnerable child is brutally killed, the media and politicians alike would take the offending officials to task. DoC appear immune from such scrutiny.

In 1999 DoC’s Dr’s Elliot and Kemp said “Kea nests appear to be relatively immune to predation from introduced mammals…Our results agree with a previous study of Kea nesting at Arthur’s Pass, where no evidence of significant nest predation was found (Jackson 1963).” (G Elliot & J Kemp 1999)

Now DoC claim “The Kea deaths are unfortunate but without protection most Kea chicks are killed by stoats. (Westport News 26/01/15)

So what has changed, DoC’s inept monitoring of nests since 2000 would appear to be resulting in further Kea predation and nest abandonment.

Overseas bird experts warn “Avoid leaving tracks or human scent that can direct predators to nests.” (Cornell University Ornithology Dept 2011) “visiting nests to check the contents necessarily results in disturbance of the individuals being studied. Moreover, investigator disturbance may increase the probability of nest predation… Human disturbance may also reduce nest attendance” (Elser and Grand 1993).

The logic is simple. Birds fly to their nests and leave no scent trail. Dr’s Elliot and Kemp and their sweaty cohorts leave a scent trail to the nests that a geriatric stoat on crutches could follow. “Eggs and chicks disappeared from 35% of the nests we monitored and at two of these nests definite sign of stoat predation was found” “Once it was found, we checked each nest every 2-3 weeks until it either failed or the chicks had fledged…” (G Elliot& J Kemp 2004)

Black-billed seagulls are now endangered, but DoC’s predecessors knew they were slaughtering them in their breeding grounds during the nesting season back in 1964.
“A Department of Conservation report on bird numbers has classified the Black-billed gull “nationally critical”, the most serious category, usually reserved for our rarest birds, because of the rate of expected decline. There were an estimated 180,000 to 200,000 of the birds in 1977. There are now thought to be 60,000 to 70,000.” (Stuff 30/10/14)

In 2014, when DoC first monitored the endangered Rock wren through an aerial 1080 drop, 29 of 44 birds “disappeared” ( 65% mortality). DoC blamed “heavy snowfall” at the time and said “We have found no dead rock wren. There’s no evidence to suggest that … we’ve knocked them out with 1080.”(Herald 19/01/15)
But DoC’s Dr. Elliot now admits “The 1080 drop in 2014 killed four Keas and led to the death of Rock Wrens” (Fairfax Nov 16th 2015)

So why do so many otherwise sane people accept everything that DoC tell them? The so called independent EPA report is often cited, and the Parliamentary Commissioner for Environment, Dr Wright is an absolute “1080-ophile”

But the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) review was called for by Department of Conservation (DoC) and Animal Health Board, and there was no cross examination of witnesses from either side of the debate. In October 2006, the AHB and DoC jointly submitted the formal application for reassessment of 1080. The applicants argued that 1080 is essential to controlling possums, which pose significant risks to farming (through the spread of bovine Tb) and to the environment (through predation of native plants and birds – EPA 2007).

The EPA report therefore, is similar in stature to a Local Council decision, made by Councillors or Commissioners. Such Council decisions are often completely rejected or significantly modified by the Environment Court, with the benefit of cross examination of witnesses.

Even after 63 years use of 1080 poison, DoC’s Graeme Elliot says “How are you supposed to find out how to do it perfectly? There is a lot of learning to do before we will get these operations perfect.” (Fairfax March 29th 2016)

There is not a shadow of doubt in my mind, or in that of the many retired Forest Service personnel and bushmen that I know, that the single biggest cause of the rapid decline of species such as Kea and Rock wren, is DoC and its inept and continuing use of 1080, and these species may well be extinct in our lifetimes, probably before Dr. Elliot finishes “learning”.

Bill Wallace
Ecologist
Leader Ban1080 Political Party, (April, 2017)

Silent forest now in Fiordland’s Hollyford Valley – no birds – only cicadas & tourist traffic a local reports

Do not feed the Kea the sign above advises. Ironic isn’t it? They’ve been fed 1080  unfortunately by the very corporation which purports to protect them. We know 1080 kills every breathing organism (according to Dr Meriel Watts) so what else can we expect? Ten thousand birds in one drop a Landcare scientist has calculated for one of DoC’s drops. This is so not rocket science & yet here we have another sad testimony of the increasingly silent forests.  This one is from Carol Sawyer.

HOLLYFORD VALLEY, FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK, DEVASTATING AERIAL 1080 POISON DROP, OCTOBER 2017 – 18 MONTHS LATER, STILL DISASTROUS RESULTS – NO RECOVERY !

By Carol Sawyer

Yesterday I visited the Hollyford Valley in Fiordland. What a silent place, apart from the cicadas and the tourist traffic. This road is dangerously busy. One rental car passed me on a double yellow line…this is standard.

FANTAIL PIC TE ARA. 1080S DESTROYED ALL FANTAILS AROUND GUNNS CAMP HV FIORDLAND
All of the fantails have gone from around Gunn’s Camp at Hollyford Valley, Fiordland, NZ  Photo: Te Ara

A recent survey found this narrow winding road has, on average, 150 buses and 1200 cars on it every day. Knob’s Flat is about to have a $30 million lodge put in by the Milford Development Co, so the influx is going to be even greater.

The toilets are so disgusting that I was told yesterday that some bus tour drivers stop and let their passengers toilet in the forest so they don’t have to deal with the assault on their senses. ( Attached is a photo Shane Wilson took of the toilets at The Divide, on the Hollyford Road, about a year ago. I was going to take a photo myself yesterday but the stench the minute I opened the door truly had me reeling backwards, so I didn’t. )

The 1080 drop in the Lower and Upper Hollyford Valleys in Fiordland, 5-6 October, 2017 has been an unmitigated disaster ! The area had never been 1080 poisoned before.

Read on….

RATS :

For many years, there has been a volunteer trapping programme in place around Gunn’s Camp on the Hollyford Road. Ninety-eight traps are set along approximately 20 kms of the Hollyford Road, back into the bush a bit, from Marian Corner to Humboldt Creek and for a couple of kilometres beyond the end of the road.

These traps are set approximately 200 metres apart, and they are cleared every three weeks, weather permitting. For years, these traps averaged a total of 6 to 12 rats every three weeks, all up.

After the 1080 drop, the next couple of trap clearances yielded very little. This is what one would expect immediately after an aerial 1080 drop.

Five months later, March 2018, the traps were cleared and contained 32 rats. Interestingly, some of the traps had two rats in them, which is apparently unusual.

The following weekend the tally was 24 rats. That equates to 54 rats in a period of 6 weeks, whereas prior to the drop one could have expected, at the most, 12 to 24 rats to be caught in that time.

Rats had NEVER been caught here in these numbers before !

Things have not improved. The latest trap clearance, February, 2019, yielded 19 rats and 7 stoats !!

( These results come from inside the Dept of Conservation itself, but I doubt that they would have seen the light of day if they were not exposed here ! DoC need to understand that not all their employees agree with their poisoning ways.)

BIRDS :

KAKA PHOTO. BIRDING NZ. SPECIES NRLY WIPED OUT BY 1080 IN HOLL VLY
Kaka almost wiped out in Hollyford Valley, Photo: Birding NZ

Gunn’s camp in the Hollyford was a Kaka haven. Twenty to forty Kaka were regularly seen there, and as many as fifty were counted on one occasion.

Moreporks ( Ruru ) abounded. One Morepork used to sit behind a generator shed there, and when the generator was turned off every night it then became very vocal. It was a loved ‘character’ of this special place.

All Kaka disappeared after the drop. Eighteen months later up to 3 Kaka have been seen and a Morepork was heard in the distance one night a while ago, according to regulars ( The “generator” Morepork was obviously killed by the poison. ) Fantails are gone.

I guess the DoC poisoners will be back again this year, for their biennial onslaught


COMMENT AT FACEBOOK ON THIS ARTICLE:

“Yes try finding birdlife in the Lindus Pass now days, it’s pretty much NON existent”

If you’ve noticed the same anywhere in NZ, please add your comments to our ‘Silent Forests’ page. Just let me know if you want anonymity or if I can add your name. Thank you.


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Photos at Hollyford Valley, Fiordland, NZ (Carol Sawyer)

  1. DoC’s Hollyford Valley Sign
  2. Hollyford River
  3. Hollyford Valley
  4. Hollyford River
  5. Gunn’s Camp

SOURCE


NOTE: For further articles on 1080 use categories at left of the news page.

If you are new to the 1080 poisoning program, a must watch is Poisoning Paradise, the doco made by the GrafBoys (banned from screening on NZ TV, yet a 4x international award winner). Their website is tv-wild.com. Their doco is a very comprehensive overview with the independent science to illustrate the question marks that remain over the use of this poison. There are links also on our 1080 resources page to most of the groups, pages, sites etc that will provide you with further information to make your own informed decision on this matter.

“No birds … no Kiwi, Tui, Weka, Kereru … all gone” – an observation on the West Coast from an 82 year old

Posted recently in 1080 social media pages (name supplied):

Graham says:
“Just before Christmas my worker and I were clearing back overhanging foliage from a footpath in a built up area. Along came an elderly gentleman on his little scooter thing they have these days. He wanted to stop for a yarn so we obliged. He was 82 and had just made one last journey back home to the area he grew up in … the West coast. He went to all his childhood and teenage years haunts and spent time, a lot of it in and on bush tracks.

I asked him did he notice much in the way of change since those days?

The Birds he said … the place used to be full of native birds but all he saw on this whole trip there was one Weka. Everything has gone. The bush is now dead. No Kiwi, no Weka or Tui, even the Kea had gone.

“The place used to be lousy with Keruru, now nothing. He has no doubt whatsoever that 1080 is to blame. It’s just destroyed everything.

Where he lives now, and I have no idea where that is, he said he had planted lots of Kowhai and every year the Tui came and he used to sit on the front porch and watch them … this year …  nothing … not one bird.

But of course a lifetime’s observation is unscientific and counts for nothing.”

EWR comment:

“… a lifetime’s observation is unscientific and counts for nothing” … note that even the independent science from bona fide scientists counts for nothing. Only the ‘science’ that the authorities sign off is considered acceptable. Remember the recent post citing Reihana Robinson in ‘The Killing Nation’ and the revelation that 70% of the Department of Conservation’s ‘scientific’ studies justifying the aerial distribution of 1080 are done in-house? 

So called anti-1080 people aren’t actually terrorists. They simply want clean, non poisoned water & food, at least 70% independent science … & pest control that really does target pests without killing our natives. It is simply not acceptable to kill 10K birds in one single 1080 drop. 

RELATED POSTS:

THE DECIMATION OF OUR NATIVE KEA – WE ARE WATCHING ONE OF NEW ZEALAND’S GREATEST ENVIRONMENTAL TRAGEDIES TAKING PLACE!
GO INTO A 1080-POISONED FOREST, SEE FOR YOURSELF SAYS A NZ BUSHMAN OF 35 YEARS – NON TARGET BIRDS ARE DYING
IS 1080 SAVING OR DESTROYING OUR BIRD LIFE? HEAR FOR YOURSELF THE POISONED VS NON-POISONED FORESTS

kahurangi nat park jim hilton
Birds collected following a 1080 drop in the Kahurangi National Park, clearly, many are natives (Photo: Jim HIlton)

tom hunsdale
Weka collected after a 1080 drop on Great Barrier Island (Photo: Tom Hunsdale)

Header Photo: Tui in Kowhai tree (envirowatchrangitikei)


NOTE: For further articles on 1080 use categories at left of the news page.

If you are new to the 1080 poisoning program, a must watch is Poisoning Paradise, the doco made by the GrafBoys (banned from screening on NZ TV, yet a 4x international award winner). Their website is tv-wild.com. Their doco is a very comprehensive overview with the independent science to illustrate the question marks that remain over the use of this poison. There are links also on our 1080 resources page to most of the groups, pages, sites etc that will provide you with further information to make your own informed decision on this matter.

If you are pro poisoning of the environment, EnvirowatchRangitikei is not the place to espouse your opinions. Mainstream would be the place to air those. This is a venue for sharing the independent science you won’t of course find there.

Finally we don’t endorse violence in any way shape or form. We are not terrorists.

NOTE: Periodically & randomly the facebook share option will disappear from posts on the front (this) page. If it is not appearing, click on the heading of the article to go to its own page, usually the share button will show up there. (All else failing copy & past the url to your facebook page).