Tag Archives: morepork

Read Dr Fiona McQueen’s letter on 1080 poisoning & NZ’s native birds that the Wanaka Sun declines to publish

EWR comment: the 1080 issue is still as present as ever. It has been overshadowed more urgently at this blog by the CV VX rollout. The 1080 poisoning however continues, business as usual with currently the East Cape to be slathered with this deadly poison. Sixty years on and we still have the pests? How long does one keep applying a solution that doesn’t work? Meanwhile the beautiful Kea is in serious decline. If you are new to the 1080 problem here in NZ just watch the GrafBoys’ excellent award winning doco ‘Poisoning Paradise‘ & visit their site tv-wild.com. Also see our 1080 pages (main menu). Article below…
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IMPORTANT UNPUBLISHED LETTER BY DR. FIONA McQUEEN – THE WANAKA SUN

“…most conservation –minded NZ’ers would be fairly shocked to hear that 1080 actually kills native birds – in any numbers, small or “huge”. This unfortunate fact has been well and truly proven in peer-reviewed studies and is termed “by-kill”. Which species? Tomtits, robins, morepork and kea to name a few… after the 2020 drop in the pristine Matukituki Valley, 50% of DoC’s monitored kea died”
Dr Fiona McQueen

From Carol Sawyer

On April 15, 2021, The Wanaka Sun published an opinion piece by Ross Sinclair, committee member of the pro-1080 poison Central Otago Lakes “Forest and Bird”…. incorrect and biased as one might expect.
Over the ensuing weeks there were a number of ‘Letters to the Editor’ in opposition to this article. (Notably there were none in support of the opinion piece, although Ross Sinclair was given the right of reply not once, but twice!)
One letter was from Dr. Fiona McQueen, consultant rheumatologist at the SDHB, and author of “The Quiet Forest: The Case Against Aerial 1080”.
The Sun’s editor, Pat Deavoll, told Dr. McQueen in an email on 19 April that she would “certainly publish it in the next edition- you have made some very good points”. It has never been published.
I posted it on Facebook a week ago along with the original opinion piece, with Dr. Fiona McQueen’s permission.
Strangely, I shared it to Upper Clutha Community Notices, a local Wanaka Facebook group with more than 7,000 members. It was approved and then quickly deleted and when I pointed this out to one of the admins with whom I have had cordial dealings in the past, it was reinstated. It was deleted again; again I pointed this out and it was reinstated. It appeared there was disagreement among the admins.
Finally, after 24 hours or so, comments were turned off, this particular administrator sent me an extremely rude private message, totally uncalled for, referring to “your precious post”, the post was deleted, and she blocked me.
Dr. McQueen’s letter STILL has not been published by The Wanaka Sun and yet here in this week’s issue is a letter from John Veysey, commenting on the non-existent letter !! (I thought I must have made a mistake but I have been back through the last 6 weeks of The Wanaka Sun and, no, Dr. Fiona McQueen’s letter has never been published).
Here is her letter again, and I have attached John Veysey’s letter to The Wanaka Sun, from this week’s edition, (which must have a few people scratching their heads as no-one reading The Wanaka Sun has ever seen Dr. McQueen’s letter) :

“Dear Sir,
I would like to make some comments in response to your recent article, “Putting 1080 to Bed”. Firstly, I would expect that most conservation –minded NZ’ers would be fairly shocked to hear that 1080 actually kills native birds – in any numbers, small or “huge”. This unfortunate fact has been well and truly proven in peer-reviewed studies and is termed “by-kill”. Which species? Tomtits, robins, morepork and kea to name a few. How many are killed?
Contrary to Dr Sinclair, I find the data on kea to be extremely alarming. It has been estimated (by DoC) that each poisoning operation will kill, on average, 12% of kea. But sometimes that percentage has been much higher. For example after the 2020 drop in the pristine Matukituki Valley, 50% of DoC’s monitored kea died.
“The keas’ deaths will be horrific, with extreme muscular spasms going on for many hours,” said Dr Jo Pollard, PhD, an independent scientist who has crusaded for years against the use of aerial 1080.
Personal confirmation of this came to me quite separately from an individual working on a DOC hut during 2020. In the days following a 1080 drop he commented, “the keas were making a really awful noise, it sounded like they might have been screaming …” It is very disturbing that there are so few of these iconic birds to be found now around the West Coast, in areas where they used to be plentiful. DOC says its the stoats. Really? Stoats were introduced more than a hundred years ago. The kea population only seems to have plummeted in the last twenty or so (since intensive and repetitive 1080 drops have been underway in kea habitat). More likely it is something that most definitely kills them in large numbers – 1080.
Ross Sinclair has alluded to the recently published paper by Bomans et al, (NZ Journal of Ecology 2021) investigating the effect of 1080 drops on birdsong. True, there was very little difference shown between 1080 and control groups over a period of years (leaving aside the subgroup of tomtits exposed to 1080 where birdsong was reduced). But hold on, shouldn’t there have been a difference? Isn’t that what the whole 1080 programme is supposed to do? Bring back the birdsong? Here is conclusive scientific proof that it is a complete waste of time and money, with a lot of dreadful suffering thrown in for many helpless creatures.

Dr Fiona Mcqueen
Consultant rheumatologist
SDHB”

A NZ pig hunter from the ’50s says that after 60+ years of dropping 1080 in the Wainui Bush near Taupo he can no longer hear the birds…”they’re all gone”

VIDEO: “Once the rats have gone down to negligible numbers” says Maggie Barrie, (former Min of Conservation) “then we’ll use traps” … ? Um…. 60 years on and still we have rats? It isn’t working Maggie. A blind person could see that. We still have rats and our native Kea are nearly extinct. Perhaps the Dept of Conservation would be better named the Dept of Destruction.

RELATED: OIA REQUEST REVEALS 89 DEAD KIWI IN 1080 TREATED TONGARIRO FOREST – AND NOT ONE WAS TESTED BY DOC FOR 1080 POISONING 

Hunter, Harvey Karaitiana, interviewed in the video says he came across 1080 by accident in the 1950s when he saw small fixed wing aircraft spreading something in the Wainui bush near Taupō. Upon investigation he saw green stuff all over the ground. Days afterwards he found dead birds and animals in the bush. Remember this is a Class 1A Ecotoxin that kills all oxygen breathing life including humans, and it appears the public had no warning on the drop! Mr Karaitiana wrote to the local newspaper at the time expressing his concerns.

harvey karaitiana.png

Note: Mr Karaitiana says they are still treating the same land with 1080, and reports that whereas once he would hear Morepork and other birds in the area, he no longer does. They are all gone he says. Department of Conservation? Really?

The poison 1080, to our Māori people he said, is one of the most deadly poisons out that we know of. 

And DoC by the way declined to be interviewed.

To watch the video click on  the link below the image:

maori tv

https://teaomaori.news/native-affairs–decades-poisoning?fbclid=IwAR2_vjMWP0bXxiRpvnjH-6aL5m3CaztBz6XrNMrA2OOB4wvx-dgF-o7NmA0

PHOTOS: Screenshots from Maori Television video


 

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.

And 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′. 

 

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.

Go into a 1080-poisoned forest, see for yourself says a NZ bushman of 35 years – non target birds are dying

NOTE: This is a burning issue in NZ currently, a nation advertised as clean and green is anything but. They are poisoning our environment with greater intensity under the guise of saving birds. Folk visiting here should be warned & not drink water from the streams as many tourists do. One tourist here died & her Doctor who arranged to send her heart for testing for 1080 was told to back off & the lab ‘lost’ her heart. Massive cover up going on. https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/2016/10/06/could-this-healthy-23-year-old-have-died-from-exposure-to-1080-we-will-never-know-because-incredibly-the-nz-lab-lost-her-heart/
EnvirowatchRangitikei

From the Gisborne Herald

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

With regard to Grant Vincent’s comments on the benefits of 1080 poison. As a logging contractor and bushman for the past 35 years, I have seen my fair share of 1080 poison drops. Every year parts of the forest estate where I worked were systematically poisoned every three years.

In my experience this creates very low bird numbers, especially predatory birds like the falcon, morepork, weka and hawk. All these birds I have found poisoned after a 1080 poison drop.

1080 poison was first developed as an insecticide, so what effect does this have on the forest ecosystem as a whole? And then there’s the effect on poisoning our waterways which run down to our coastline.

New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, TBfree and many regional councils backed by Forest and Bird support the aerial use of 1080 poison which indiscriminately kills all creatures that breathe oxygen through a slow, painful death that can take some animals days.

Then there is the crusade to have New Zealand pest-free by 2050, which includes deer and pigs. If you hunt wild game to feed your family, as most of my workers do, be concerned as this will affect you!

As I have always said to people who ask me about the effects of 1080 poison — go into a forest which has been poisoned by 1080 and see for yourself. Listen if you can hear any birds, and you will notice the smell of death.

Mark Nyhoff

Pakiri Logging

 

READ COMMENTS ETC AT THE LINK

http://gisborneherald.co.nz/opinion/3124914-135/go-into-a-1080-poisoned-forest-see

For further independent science & info on 1080 see our 1080 pages at the main menu. You won’t find that info in mainstream media. Also search 1080 in categories at left of news page.

Since a 1080 drop in Fiordland’s Hollyford Valleys in late 2017 the rat population has INCREASED & native birds, deer & trout are in severe decline

From Carol Sawyer

HOLLYFORD AERIAL 1080 DROP, OCTOBER 2017 – DISASTROUS RESULTS !

(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.)

29595242_2082002325413416_3111398628441912115_n

This 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 have 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.

However, now things have changed and, five months on, the rat plague that is to be eventually expected after a 1080 drop, of triple and even quadruple previous rat numbers, (not that the Dept of Conservation will publicly admit to this), has started.

Three weeks ago the traps were cleared and contained 32 rats. Interestingly, some of the traps had two rats in them, which is apparently unusual.

Last weekend’s 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 have NEVER been caught here in these numbers before !

Add to this the fact that the rats being caught recently are all young rats, this means that a veritable rat plague is on its way, and by the time the anniversary of this virgin 1080 drop comes around this October, a rat plague is what people in the area will be witnessing !

BIRDS :

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 relatively recent 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.

There has not been a Morepork or a Kaka seen or heard since the 1080 drop five months ago. ( The “generator” Morepork was also obviously killed by the poison. ) Fantail numbers have taken a major dive, as the insect population has, of course, decreased and consequently the fantails are short of food.

DEER:

A local helicopter company has had reports, recently, from hunters it transports into hunting areas that deer numbers are ‘low to non-existent’ since the drop.

TROUT:

It is reported that a big pond in the Hollyford River, above Gunn’s Camp, which always had trout, now has none.

FINANCIAL COST OF THIS DISASTER :

This would be very hard to ascertain. Even an OIA request won’t do it, or at least not in the least accurately.

( Take for example the aborted 1080 operation at Makarora, Mt Aspiring National Park, in 2015, where prefeed baits were dropped, but far too late in the year and winter set in so the poison part of the operation never went ahead. The 66 tonnes of poison had to be retrucked back to the North Island and buried in a landfill (it was rumoured to be in Marton). DoC Wanaka claimed the total cost of that farce was $187,000 but figures i spent a long time working on showed the true cost to be well in excess of $1 million – even before the relocation of 1080 back for burial in the North Island ).

HOWEVER, I was told by a very reliable source ( a local helicopter pilot ) that HeliOtago received $1.2 million for this 40,000 hectare aerial 1080 drop in the Hollyford Valley, Fiordland National Park, last October. That of course was only a fraction of the total cost.

Photos :
Gunn’s Camp – Photo Michael Venter
Kaka – Photo Birding NZ
Morepork ( Ruru ) and young – NZ Birds Online
Gunn’s Camp – Photo Forthloveoftravel
Fantail – Photo Birding NZ
Hollyford River at Gunn’s camp – Photo Earth Burners

SOURCE

The most disturbing thing to watch is a 1080ed animal die … the pleading in their eyes as they try and drag themselves to shelter

by Stewart Shand via Carol Sawyer

 “I MAY HAVE BEEN THE BRINGER OF DEATH. BUT NOT SUFFERING. ALSO I DIDN’T KILL WHAT I WAS TRYING TO SAVE, AS IN THE BIRDS”

Back in the mid 1990s I was awarded an eradication contract with a forestry administration company in the Wairarapa. My job was to eradicate anything that had four legs, a tail, and a head from 6000 hectares of farm land. This farm land was bought by an overseas investor and was being planted in pines. The original contract ran for two years until the pines had established themselves.

In the contract I could remove from the property any, if not all the dead animals I wanted. This arrangement would give me a fairly good income from possum fur on top of the contract fee. So I thought.

To do the job efficiently I split things up into categories and times. For instance sheep and cattle in daylight. Possums at night. Rabbits and hares at night. Deer at night. Goats in daylight. Pigs in daylight and night. Traps and cyanide laid in daylight, and so on. Then the days and nights were split to target specific animals. If I was targeting rabbits and hares on a particular night, all the deer, sheep, etc were left alone. OK, I did take out the odd deer, pig and possum. No two consecutive nights had the same target.

For those wondering how I can see things at night, not very many nights are pitch black and you do get used to it over time. Also I used to have a small hand torch strapped to my shoulder to help when I was rolling a smoke. The kill light was a million candlepower handheld spotlight hooked into the motorbike. Also a 500 candlepower battery-run backpack spotlight for when I had to leave the bike.

As with most people working days or night shift I had my break times. These break times coincided with me reaching particular parts of the farm. These places were sheltered spots and mostly near native bush. A couple were right on the boundary with a conservation property. Another spot was beside an area of manuka that had been crush-rolled so they could plant in amongst it. It was in these areas when you switched off the lights and engine of the four wheeler that you could lay back on the ground and appreciate the noises made by the night life. Kiwis calling, nightingales flitting around, moreporks calling. The odd hedgehog coming in to see what you have for smoko.

Then the night up by the crushed manuka, two little moreporks landing on the front carrier of the bike with their big eyes sort of asking what’s for dinner. Parent sitting on the fence watching both myself and them.

The next night I returned at about the same time, this time with cut up rabbit. I waited around for a while and they didn’t turn up so I left pieces of rabbit on the ground and on the fence posts. Two nights later I was back in the area and with a bit of possum was going to leave them a feed. The lights picked them up sitting on the fence as I was going down the track. To keep a long story short, over time I could get fairly close to them but not quite hand feed them.

Meanwhile back in the other spots the night life could get rowdy on occasions. I used to take out the odd person with me for a hunt and they loved sitting in these places listening. A lot of them never realised just how much night life was in the bush.

Well all this changed the day the council twats turned up. OK, I won’t go into details about what was said etc, but they ended up hand laying 1080 and I wasn’t leaving. I had a job to do. These guys laid bait on the main tracks in places that thick that if you put your No 11 boot down you stood on at least 3 baits. You couldn’t tell them that where they were laying baits there weren’t any possums, rats, stoats, etc. As far as they were concerned I didn’t know anything or how to catch them. So my 40 odd traps that had been in this particular area along with cyanide baits for last 4 months were all wrong. Only things I got out of that area was 3 deer, 2 pigs, and a goat. I never even found a possum after them either. To me it was a transit gully where animals passed through.

The most disturbing thing to watch is a 1080ed animal die. The pleading in their eyes as they try and drag themselves to shelter can even get to the hardiest of us. It still gets at me. I spent a lot of my time putting bullets into them instead of hunting the ones that had got away.

The birdlife at the rest spots ceased. Everything went deathly quiet. I never saw my three moreporks again. Even the hawks succumbed to 1080. I had to get off my bike and go and put the odd pig deer out of its misery.

They can make an eerie screaming noise when dying from 1080. Riding around that block at night, and in daylight after 1080 was like as if you were in a horror movie. The feeling of death all around. Not only had they eradicated their target, but also what they were supposed to save. I spent a few nights in the conservation area after they did the 1080 to see if there was any life deeper in. …. Nothing.

I may have been the bringer of death. But not suffering. Also I didn’t kill what I was trying to save, as in the birds.”

NOTE: dying from 1080 poison says a Veterinarian, is like being electrocuted for two plus days. Why is DoC allowed to do this? Please ask this question of your governmental authorities. For other articles on 1080 use the categories or search box. Further info on 1080 pages can be found at our 1080 pages at the main menu.

Photo – Morepork and young, Wikipedia

What DOC doesn’t want you to know about 1080 Poison (leaked report)

The recent post about 89 dead Kiwis that DOC didn’t bother to test for 1080 poisoning relates to this report of birds that actually were tested. Thanks to the person with a conscience who let the public know what is going on!

From 1080science on Youtube

Published on Jul 5, 2014

In 2008 an employee of the Department of Conservation leaked an internal report to The Dominion Post. This internal report acknowledged the death of the Kea Parrot due to aerial dropped 1080 poison.

The NZ Government is about to poison the Kea Parrot again with massive aerial drops of 1080 poison.

Help us to Save the New Zealand Kea Parrot – Sign the petition
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/sa…

Visit http://1080science.co.nz for more info on 1080.


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