Tag Archives: Lake Hawea

DoC sows 1080 bait on snow in spite of their Code of Practice saying not to


Thanks to Carol Sawyer, Clyde Graf and Ron Eddy for this information:

The 1080 poison is due to be aerially dropped within the next couple of weeks. Prefeed baits were dropped on May 28, 2018.

Here is why 1080 baits should not be dropped in snowy, wintry conditions. According to the information below, DoC’s 2014 Code of Practice suggests : “Avoid sowing toxic baits on snow. With regard to rocky outcrops, these should be evaluated along with other timing and boundary decisions in operational planning. Seek advice from technical and science advisors for your situation”.


I received this email from Ron Eddy in March, 2017, re dropping 1080 in SNOW!:

“Now to 1080 in snow. …… at a meeting in St Arnaud where Josh Kemp, DoC’s Kea scientist was present Kemp answered my comment about dropping 1080 in snow. He replied “We never drop in snow.” I then pulled those photos out and silence reigned from the DoC side of the discussion. I think there was a drastic reduction in Nelson Lakes Kea after that 2008 drop because that was when they brought in the 2009 code of practice for 1080 operations in Kea habitat. That also brought in DoC’s Kea monitoring as the first operation shown on that chart is the 2008 Arawhata one. No mention of the Red Hills / Beeby’s / St Arnaud N Face or Upper Wairau ones though. In a reply to someone on the ‘net Kemp denied the Nelson Lakes NP area had had 1080 dropped on it at that time.

About a week after the Upper Wairau operation into snow I went through an area of it and found 1080 baits that hadn’t been touched … they had blown up like sausages. 1080 lasts a lot longer in cold conditions, the cold keeps it viable and to me, those baits were still viable because the hard centres in them were still solid. They went ahead with that drop knowing we were in for a large drop of snow and to my mind they were wanting to get every possum they could even though they knew there were very few possums there . Their monitoring told them so.

To have a deep blanket of snow also took away the food sources of our native birds. For them to see bright green coloured cereal baits on top of the snow would have been an open invitation to have free feed. Especially the Kea. That no doubt is also the reason DoC now diversionary feed Kea during 1080 drops in the Nelson Lakes NP area. That still didn’t stop one Kea that we know of from dying from 1080 poisoning in the 2014 operation.

In DoC’s revised 2014 “DOC code of practice for aerial 1080 operations in Kea habitat” on page 12 is a series of questions and answers in regard to aerial 1080 operations. Question 3 reads, ” We are planning to sow 0.15% 1080 Pellets in some open alpine areas to protect Rock Wren. What is the best timing to achieve this, considering that there could be snow for some of the year? Should rocky areas above the tussock be excluded?”

The answer is “Avoid sowing toxic baits on snow. With regard to rocky outcrops, these should be evaluated along with other timing and boundary decisions in operational planning. Seek advice from technical and science advisors for your situation.”

Apart from the directive in that answer I think the rest of the above info should give you a pretty good idea why 1080 baits shouldn’t be dropped on snow. Considering Rock Wren live in rock outcrops it appears their lack of knowledge on this subject contributed towards the demise of those 25 Kahurangi NP Rock Wren in 2014….. ” Ron Eddy, St Arnaud


Clyde Graf said : “DoC dropped 1080 poison directly into snow in the Rainbow Skyfield area, St Arnaud – Nelson Lakes, back in 2008 I think it was. We filmed a bunch of poisoned birds laying on the snow, along with the baits. The poison is well preserved in snow, but these poisoning agencies are only about getting the poison dumped into the environment, not about what happens to it or where it ends up.” See photo above.

Photos :

lake hawea by kirstin dana

1) Timaru Creek, Lake Hawea ( the last two mountains on the left are Corner Peak and Dingle Peak – then Timaru Creek comes out into Lake Hawea- then Breast Peak is basically that whole large range on the right ) – Photo Kirstin Dana 5 June, 2018

2 ) (Header) Dead birds found in snow beside 1080 baits, St Arnaud – Photo Clyde Graf, 2008

ospri 1080 zone map timaru crk lake hawea winter 2018

3 ) OSPRI 1080 aerial drop zone, Timaru Creek



The dubious justification for an imminent 1080 drop at Timaru Creek in Central Otago

“There never was, never is and never can be valid justification for mass slaughter with a universal super toxin. It is chemical warfare. It is ecocide. there is NO justification!” …   (Tom Look Stop 1080 Now FB page)


From Carol Sawyer

After receiving an apology from OSPRI Operations Extension apparatchik, Jennifer Lawn, for saying they had found a Tb-infected ferret in the Timaru Creek 1080 drop zone in 2015-16 when in fact they HADN’T, and with that little creature being part of the justification for the aerial 1080 drop to kill possums, despite no possum monitoring having been done…. ( yes John Cleese would have had fun with this little lot ! )…Alan Galletly has sent Ms Lawn another letter. Because we will probably have to wait the standard 21 working days to receive this obviously terribly overworked poisoner’s reply, I am posting it up here now, along with the apology about the ferret.

As you can see from their printed material the justification for the 1080 drop is ” Tb ferrets ( note plural ) and pigs have recently been detected on the south eastern side”. ‘Recently’ means over two years ago, no Tb infected ferrets have been found in the drop zone, and the pig story is dubious ( see Alan’s letter ). The population of the target animal, the possum, has not been ascertained by OSPRI, who say they only have funds for post-drop monitoring, not pre-drop monitoring.

Sent: Friday, 13 April 2018 1:20 p.m.

Dear Alan,

We need to correct some of the information supplied in response to your previous request.

The infected ferret was found 5km to the south of the planned aerial operation. We apologise for this error.

The correct information was used in the planning of this aerial operation. Your further requests for information have been received and we will respond as soon as possible within the required timeframes.

Yours sincerely,

Jennifer ( Lawn )

Sent: Wednesday, 18 April 2018 11:51 a.m.

Dear Jennifer

Thank you for the update regarding the infected ferret.

You state that the correct information was used for planning of this aerial operation yet your printed material available to the public clearly states a TB infected ferret was taken from Timaru Creek.

This was also stated by OSPRI staff at the Hawea Information afternoon.

Clearly this leaves the question , What is the correct scientific information OSPRI have planned this aerial operation on? Is it based solely on the assumption the feral pigs were living in Timaru Creek ?

The assumption these pigs were infected by possum carcases solely from Timaru Creek? The assumption that there is a large population of TB infected possums in Timaru Creek?

All these assumptions aren’t enough evidence to plan an aerial poison drop on surely without solid scientific evidence to back them?

Could you please confirm the infected pigs actually came from the planned drop zone.

It has come to my attention that these pigs were shot in the vicinity of Stodys Hut which I believe is on the edge of the drop zone.

As this hut is near the ridge line there is no certainty that the pigs were in fact living in the Timaru Creek catchment but may have crossed the ridge line from Lake Hawea Station country.

The timing of when these pigs were shot also suggests this as at that time of year feral pigs prefer warmer , dryer country.

It would be unlikely for them to frequent the shady side or lower country in this catchment at this time of year.

It is clear OSPRI is assuming these feral pigs were living in Timaru Creek when in fact they may not have been correct.


Alan Galletly

Photos :

1 ) Photo DoC- Breast Hill track, overlooking Lake Hawea and Hawea township, above Timaru Creek area. (Header image)

2 ) From OSPRI information leaflet on Timaru Creek aerial 1080 poison drop


3) Map of drop zone