Doing well in Mid Burn …
By Carol Sawyer
Last December the Fiordland Wapiti Foundation sent a letter to members asking for volunteers to capture and monitor Kea as part of a Kea survey.
The Wapiti Foundation has since banded 44 Kea in the Mid Burn valley. The Mid Burn is straight across Lake Te Anau from the Te Anau Downs boat harbour. This area has never been 1080 poisoned. It is all red deer country – there are no Wapiti there.
These figures ( 44 banded Kea) come from one of the Kea Survey party.
I am told they will not have been able to band all the Kea in the valley, and that there could be up to 100 Kea in that area alone.
… wipe-out on the Kepler
By contrast, the Luxmore Hut, in the Kepler Mountains, traditionally had six to twelve resident Kea at any one time.
Eighteen months ago, following the DoC aerial 1080 poison operation in the Kepler Mountain, these Kea all but disappeared.
A number of people have told me that only one Kea ever turns up there now.
Also on the Kepler Track is the upper Forest Burn bivvy.
One of the track construction workers from thirty years ago has told me that there were numerous Kea there then, and that you couldn’t leave anything outside during the day.
Now there are no Kea there – thanks to 1080 poison.
Common sense = stop the poisoning!
This shows that in non-poisoned areas Kea are still thriving, and in 1080 poisoned areas Kea are virtually wiped out.
We don’t need an expensive survey.
We just need common sense to prevail and the poisoning to STOP !!!