1080 drop 'necessary evil'

Last Friday’s 1080 drop in the Dart, Routeburn and Caples valleys was a "necessary evil", Kiwi Birdlife Park manager Paul Kavanagh said.

Biodegradable 1080 poison baits were dropped over almost 20,000ha by the Department of Conservation, part of its "Battle for our Birds", which aims to protect local populations of the mohua/yellowhead, kakariki/parakeet, whio/blue duck, piwauwau/rock wren and kaka.

Mr Kavanagh said the use of the poison was not a perfect solution, but without any action, there would be no birds left to save.

"We’re losing 27million birds a year to these pests."

Doc Wakatipu operations manager Geoff Owen and his team closed tracks in the three valleys for 24 hours from Friday morning and after the drop, staff walked through the treated areas and threw any stray pellets off the tracks.

Another sweep was done within 48 hours and a third will be done in the next seven days.

No protesters were present, Mr Owen said.

Signage will stay up for eight months in the area warning people of the presence of the poison.

- Mandy Cooper


Well said Paul Kavanagh - without 1080, we will lose the mohua, kakariki, whio, rock wren and kaka. 1080 removes the rats, stoats and possums that are driving the birds to extinction by eating their eggs, chicks and even the females on the nest. These make up the estimated 27 million a year killed by introduced predators - a robust estimate based on long study of the nesting of many bird species. And this slaughter is going on everywhere that predators are not controlled.