I emailed DoC, Manawatu recently regarding the proposed aerial drop of 1080 in the Manawatu Gorge. The drop will not now happen until 2019 I’m told (see email below) …
“… aerial application of cereal baits containing 1080 will not take place in 2018 due to a lack of favourable conditions within the consent timeframe.”
I had asked in my email why 1080 is being used when the gorge, as per DoC’s own blog is trapped manually. I also asked if 1080 will be dropped into the Manawatu River. You can view the drop zone by visiting their site at this link. (Note, you will need to scroll down, read that page & tick the ‘I accept’ box at the bottom to view the map).
As regular readers will be very aware some of the info provided in the email from DoC, differs somewhat to the published independent scientific research, particularly regarding the solubility of 1080 in water. These observations have been made by independent scientists, not armchair theorists. If you are a new reader please go to the 1080 resources/links tab under the 1080 page at the main menu. The websites to the independent science are listed there. You could also use ‘categories’ (left of our news page) &/or the search box (same page) for other articles on topic. You can obviously read this info and make your own decisions about the safety of 1080 in your water … and whether or not to consume it. I should add regarding the Manawatu, that the river is already severely polluted, at one stage earning the reputation of being the most polluted river in the Southern Hemisphere. All of our rivers are so polluted we can only safely swim in 40% of them. Gone are the days of diving in without some prior research online, all depending among other things, if there’s been rainfall washing the pollutants into the water. For some time now I have drunk only distilled water because of this. Any water taken from these sources, including bores, is no longer pure. There are so many pollutants now that our town supplies are treated with chlorine to prevent you contracting diseases. The chlorine however carries its own risks due to its carcinogenic properties.
DoC Manawatu say the pellets won’t be dropped into the river in this instance (the river is not included in the drop zone) admitting though that there could be stray pellets fall into the water. See the GrafBoys’ videos at their Youtube channel on that subject, particularly their 4x international award winning doco ‘Poisoning Paradise’ that is banned from NZ’s television channels. Clearly the pellets often do fall into the waterways, indeed the rules were changed by the authorities to avoid the obtaining of resource consents to do so. (See our articles on 1080 & waterways).
Finally, we obviously do not agree with the aerial dropping of 1080, but neither do we support violence in any way in objecting to the drops. I personally do not know of one person who does advocate violence. We are primarily a peaceful resistance, we just do not want our environment or our water & food sources poisoned so will continue to ask the authorities to desist. DDT was once approved, as also was Agent Orange & glyphosate … so also was cigarette smoking considered good for your health … we live in the hope that this poison 1080 will be added to the danger list & preferably banned forever.
Below is the email from DoC:
Wed Dec 5, 2018
Kia ora Pam,
Thanks for your email regarding animal pest control methods in Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge.
The Department of Conservation intended to deliver an animal pest control operation over approximately 900 ha of the Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge project area during the spring of 2018. The planned operation targeted possums, rats and stoats across the whole site using a combination of aerial and ground based methods to apply cereal baits containing sodium fluoroacetate (1080).
Standard operating procedures for animal pest control operations include gaining necessary approvals from the Public Health Officer. A condition of the consent for Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge operation was that it must be completed before 7 December 2018.
1080 operations require a very specific set of weather conditions. 1080 is water soluble, so dry weather is required either side of bait application. Calm weather is vital for safe and accurate aerial bait application and the geography of Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge makes it especially critical. Unfortunately, it was not possible to deliver the operation to standard before the consent date ended for the 2018 calendar year.
Animal pest control methods to be used in 2019 will be considered in the new year.
In the meantime, animal pest control will revert to ground-based methods already in place to ensure some protection for taonga species in Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge this summer. Specifically, the use of diphacinone in the existing bait station network on the south side of the reserve only and community trapping initiatives in both sides of the reserve.
In response to your questions:
These young folk are doing a great job trapping, I am wondering why it is the gorge needs to be treated with 1080? Could you explain?
I agree, the Milson Scout Troop are doing a great job trapping to reduce rat and stoat numbers on the northern side of the Manawatu Gorge Scenic Reserve. However, monitoring shows that rat and possum numbers are currently too high for forest health and successful breeding by forest birds. Trapping can only be done in areas that are easily accessible on foot. Large parts of Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge are steep and unstable so cannot be managed using ground-based control methods. People cannot access these areas safely but possums, rats and stoats can. If control is only carried out in areas that can be accessed on foot, pests will continuously reinvade from unmanaged areas into the remainder of the forest. Well-managed aerial 1080 operations can reduce possum and rat numbers by more than 95% over large areas of rugged and inaccessible country.
One of the key benefits of community trapping initiatives is the role they play in advocating for biodiversity. Trapping volunteers learn practical skills and become knowledgeable and passionate about our nature through their involvement. Their hard work is valuable and visible, so they help to raise awareness about pest control and the Predator Free movement. We hope the community trappers will continue their good work in Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge for as long as it is necessary.
Can you also please advise, will the pellets be dropped into the Manawatu River?
The planned treatment area covered forested areas on public conservation land and neighbouring land within the Te Apiti – Manawatū Gorge project area, including the road and rail corridors. The Manawatu River was not included in the treatment area. There is a small chance that some baits could have ended up in the river but this would not impact on water quality. 1080 is highly soluble in water and quickly dilutes to very low and harmless concentrations. It then biodegrades into non-toxic products.
However, as advised above, aerial application of cereal baits containing 1080 will not take place in 2018 due to a lack of favourable conditions within the consent timeframe.
Ranger, Community – Kaitiaki, Āo Hāpori
Department of Conservation – Te Papa Atawhai
Conservation leadership for our nature Tākina te hī, tiakina te hā, o te ao tūroa