Tag Archives: Timaru Creek

“No funds” for pre 1080 drop possum monitoring at Timaru Creek yet OSPRI can still claim they’ve killed 97% of the population

DEER ARE NOT POSSUMS! 95% OF THE DEER WERE KILLED BY 1080 POISON AT TIMARU CREEK, LAKE HAWEA

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Yesterday, in a Stuff article by Will Harvie, (link at end) we were told:

“At Timaru Creek near Lake Hawea, deer mortality” (from 1080) “was 90-95 per cent.”

On 20 June, 2018, the Timaru Creek area beside Lake Hawea, Central Otago, was aerially poisoned with approximately 10 tonnes of 1080 poison baits, over a 6,825 ha area.

Approximately 40% of the area was to receive poison baits coated in deer repellent, we were told by OSPRI/TBfree at the time. Presumably this happened as Will Harvie goes on to say the deer kill was “50-62 per cent when deer repellent was added to the 1080 bait”

There was NO justification for this 1080 poison drop. It was ostensibly to kill POSSUMS. No pre-drop possum monitoring was done.

OSPRI’s poison “justification” was 5 pigs killed in 2016 near Stodys Hut (the edge of the drop zone) having Tb, and a ferret killed in 2016, 5 kms from the drop zone, and found to have Tb. ( OSPRI said, in its published justifications for the drop, that the ferret was in the drop zone, and then later admitted in response to an OIA request that it was 5 kms from the drop zone.)

NO possums were found to have Tb. Mind you there is absolutely zero empirical scientific evidence to show that possums give bovine Tb to cattle, anyway!!

There are no Tb-infected herds for hundreds of kilometres in any direction.. OSPRI said at the time they don’t have funds to monitor possum numbers before a drop, only money to monitor them afterwards! They said they “assumed” there were enough possums in the drop zone to warrant an aerial 1080 drop !!!!

However despite this, at a recent Upper Clutha Deerstalkers’ Assn meeting, 21 March, 2019, OSPRI Operations Extension officer, Jennifer Lawn stated 97% of the possums in the area had been killed by the 1080 drop. Remember there was NO pre-drop monitoring done ! How, then, can she know this ?

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Is 90%+ deer-kill the “new normal” for 1080 drops ?

On 27 March, 2019, officials confirmed 92% of deer were killed at Molesworth Station in a 2017 1080-drop to kill possums.

Now we have officials confirming 90 to 95% deer killed at Timaru Creek in a 2018 1080-drop to kill possums.

Do you think they have forgotten deer are not possums ?

https://www.stuff.co.nz/…/toxin-1080-killed-90-per-cent-of-…

Photos :

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The map of the drop zone, outlined in red. The yellow area was supposed to have had deer-repellent added to the 1080 baits – so it would only kill 60% of the deer ! – Map from OSPRI

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The drop zone at Timaru Creek itself, and looking across at the area from the shores of Lake Hawea – Photos Carol Sawyer

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OSPRI finally admits it killed 92% of Molesworth Stn’s deer in 2017 with 1080 poison intended for possums (an estimated 4,000 deer)

Molesworth Station in the South Island, is a publicly owned park managed by NZ’s Department of Conservation…

“…up to 4,000 deer were killed in that one 1080 operation!! …

IT SHOULD BE REMEMBERED THAT THIS AERIAL POISON OPERATION WAS TO KILL POSSUMS – NOT DEER !

It should also be remembered that pigs, goats, and birds were killed in unknown numbers at Molesworth as well. Insects feeding on poisoned carcasses are killed. Birds are killed when they feed on carcasses ( hawks, falcons ), on poisoned insects, (owls and the smaller insectivores) or on the baits themselves.”

 

By Carol Sawyer

Eight helicopters dropped toxic 1080 bait at 2kg/ha on a 61,200ha area in late October, 2017. This iconic high-country station is owned by the people of New Zealand and is a recreation reserve managed by the Department of Conservation.

Molesworth Station is a massive 180,787 ha and a further two aerial 1080 drops (ca. 60,000 ha each) were planned. These were deferred “after the initial possum control operation [in] 2017 killed more deer than expected” an Ospri spokesman told the NZ Herald, 17 August, 2018

A hunters’ survey at the time, of approx. 10% of the 61,200 ha poisoned area, reported 345 dead deer – whole family groups. As it was Spring (late October) there will have been fawns left to starve.

http://kapitiindependentnews.net.nz/whats-up-doc-3-deer-k…/…

The Marlborough branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association then commissioned a survey of the whole area aerially 1080 poisoned, “to assess the amount of collateral damage done by 1080 poison” and to “inform the public debate”. They hired helicopters “to methodically sweep 60,000 hectares of the country’s largest high-country farm, Molesworth Station, counting the number of by-kill deer after the toxic poison drop.”

The survey and its results have never appeared.

On Feb 14, 2019, it was announced that the results of the survey, together with a report by Lincoln University PHD student Kaylyn Pinney would be released to the public “within a month”.

Here we are, March 22, 2019, and the report has still not been made public. It is now nearly 18 months since the aerial 1080 poison drop.

HOWEVER – last night, March 21, 2019, there was a meeting of the Upper Clutha branch of the NZ Deerstalkers’ Assn held in Wanaka. Approximately 25 people attended. A representative from OSPRI, Jennifer Lawn, was in attendance to talk about their TBfree programme, and in particular the results of their aerial 1080 poisoning of the Timaru Creek area, Lake Hawea, 20 June, 2018.

Lawn (OSPRI Operations Extension), when giving figures on how many deer are killed by 1080 poison, volunteered the information that 92% of the total deer population on Molesworth Station were killed by the October, 2017 poison drop. (Joel Lund was in attendance and he wrote this appalling figure down.) (1)

If 345 deer were killed in 10% of the station originally surveyed, and the kill rate is 92%, that means that presumably up to 4,000 deer were killed in that one 1080 operation!! No wonder OSPRI “deferred” the remaining two thirds of Molesworth Station.

IT SHOULD BE REMEMBERED THAT THIS POISON OPERATION WAS TO KILL POSSUMS – NOT DEER !

It should also be remembered that pigs, goats, and birds were killed in unknown numbers at Molesworth as well. Insects feeding on poisoned carcasses are killed. Birds are killed when they feed on carcasses ( hawks, falcons ), on poisoned insects, (owls and the smaller insectivores) or on the baits themselves.

(1) James Knapp, who was Health and Safety Manager for OSPRI at the time of this 1080 drop confirmed today that he considered the 92% figure to be correct.

(2) “An admission by the old AHB after a local poison op in 2002 admitted that 85% of the deer in the drop zone would have been poisoned. That admission came only after we persisted in hassling them after we found 18 dead deer.” – Lew Hore, Oamaru

(3) This deer and fawn are not from Molesworth, as NO information has been allowed into the public domain from the Molesworth 1080 drop. The photo is to help illustrate what happened, that’s all.

Header Photo: Screen shot from Taupo 1080 Drop, CGNZ

Poster below – by James Smith

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RELATED:

A farmer who lost 570 ewes following an accidental 1080 drop on his farm said that 6 months later sheep were still dying

1080 drop at Molesworth Stn NZ kills 345 NZ deer … dubbed “utterly inhumane” by a US University Professor

A NZ Landcare scientist estimates the likely death toll from an Otago 1080 drop in 2002 to be around 10,000 birds

WHO IS REALLY DRIVING PEST FREE NZ (PFNZ) – WHAT YOU AREN’T BEING TOLD

THE STOCK DEATHS FROM 1080 POISON & HOW DOC IS HIDING THEM IN THE PAPER WORK – STILL TRUST THEM?


 

If you are new to NZ’s 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 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.

 

School holidays still & Corner Peak Route in the Timaru 1080 drop zone is still littered with whole cinnamon flavoured baits!

So sad to see our beautiful country poisoned like this. And the apparent carelessness with which it is dropped and left for humans to touch. Little ones could easily run ahead, pick up those pretty looking baits & taste them before you even had time to stop them. Getting difficult isn’t it to be able to walk the wild places safely any more?
EnvirowatchRangitikei

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From Carol Sawyer

“One third to to one half of a cinammon-flavoured 1080 bait, comprised of cereal and 25% sugar, and as you can see an attractive ‘lolly-green’ can KILL a preschooler. A nibble, or even a lick of a bait could make a child very ill.”

It’s the school holidays and this is the Corner Peak Route, in the Timaru Creek 1080 drop zone area… late this afternoon.

Ten tonnes 1080 baits were aerially dropped here on 20 June, 2018. We have had an enormous amount of rain since then and yet, nearly 4 weeks later, here are baits looking as intact as when they were dropped from the sky

37229107_2152662435014071_7077455149974683648_n.jpgOne third to to one half of a cinammon-flavoured 1080 bait, comprised of cereal and 25% sugar, and as you can see an attractive ‘lolly-green’ can KILL a preschooler. A nibble, or even a lick of a bait could make a child very ill.

This photo of children with 1080 baits in the Timaru Creek aerial 1080 drop zone, on the Corner Peak Route, shocked many people when it was posted online yesterday. (The photo was taken late yesterday afternoon, 15 July, 2018)

So Kirstin Dana and I decided to go and have a look for ourselves this afternoon. We climbed the Upper Timaru Creek Track to the Corner Peak Route, which is the red dotted line on the map.

We didn’t have to go far on the Corner Peak Route before there seemed to be baits everywhere. One had been crushed by a boot…. I hope that person cleaned his footwear when he got home. I poked one bait open with a stick and as you can see it was still vivid green inside.

The photos of the 1080 baits I here are just two of 13 baits that I photographed on just one 75 metre stretch of the track’

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Bear in mind this is exactly 25 days since the drop. These 12 gram baits look as though they have just come out of the manufacturer’s bags ! You can see the ice on the track in the photo below.

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Ice visible on the track

A lot of 1080 must have been eaten though, as in two hours of walking we heard ONE bird… a Grey warbler on the other side of the valley. Apart from that, not a sound.

37190762_2152663558347292_4003940956268134400_n.jpgWe came across sheep, including a dead one, and three donkeys, at the junction of the Upper Timaru Creek Track and the Corner Peak Route. They appeared to be in the drop zone – the closest baits we found on the track were approximately 100 metres up the hill from them.

It’s not really good enough this sort of thing, is it?

These baits are 0.15% pure 1080 poison and for anyone who doesn’t believe my calculations and wants to work it out for themselves… the LD50 of pure 1080 (sodium monofluoroacetate) is 0.7 to 2 mgs per kg of bodyweight, according to the govt-owned 1080 bait manufacturer, Animal Control Products, in Whanganui . The baits at Timaru Creek are standard 12 gm baits.

The average weight of a two-year old is between 12 kgs ( girl ) and 12.7 kgs ( boy ). One third to one half of a bait can kill a two-year-old ( boy or girl ).
A 3-year-old ( average weight 14 kgs ) could be killed by just over 1/2 bait ( 9.8mgs ).

And remember, this is NOT an exact science… they haven’t exactly experimented to come up with those figures. Nor are they likely to have exaggerated!

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

THE TIMARU CREEK, LAKE HAWEA, 1080 DROP ZONE IS COVERED IN SNOW!

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”.

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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

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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)


LATEST NEWS ON TIMARU CREEK AERIAL 1080 POISON DROP, LAKE HAWEA, CENTRAL OTAGO

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 )

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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.

Regards

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

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3) Map of drop zone

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