Nelson Lakes: 1080 Killing The Birds

Does DoC have a reverence for life?

By Ian Bradford

DoC Director General Lou Sanson

Last October (2017), the Director General of DOC was sounding off about the dumping of approximately 50 Sika deer in a conservation area in Taranaki.

Apparently, some anti 1080 protestors had released these deer in this area as a protest. It is thought that they had transported these deer some distance, possibly somewhere from the East Coast.

The Director General’s solution was to simply kill them all.

DOC’s continued use of 1080 may be killing tens of thousands of birds every year. Then they spend millions of dollars of taxpayer money trying to bring them back again.

50 years in the Nelson Lakes

One of the Nelson Lakes

DOC would interpret this dumping act quite differently from many of us. I see it as an act of desperation from someone extremely frustrated, in that over the years, DOC members have not listened to what people have been saying about 1080.

So many of these people are well qualified in making decisions about 1080.

I have spent all my life wandering in national parks, particularly Nelson Lakes and Kahurangi. When I say all my life, that time is now just on 50 years.  I have a science degree and a law degree.

I am skilled at observing, analysing, and drawing conclusions. I have lived literally on the boundary of a national park since 1976. I currently live on the boundary of Nelson Lakes National Park. I am not an activist.

DoC is wiping out birds and animals

Kea like 1080

Since 2008, 155 kea have been monitored during 10 1080 operations. Of which 20 (13%) died after the toxin drop. DoC figures quoted in The Press October 2017

I could go through all the evidence for birds being killed by 1080 but DOC will take no notice of that.

It is well known that kea eat the pellets directly.

Plenty of hawks are seen eating possums killed on the road. If these possums have recently eaten 1080 then the hawks will die of secondary poisoning.

I could talk about all the farm animals killed by 1080 and the large number of dogs, many of them children’s pets.

Death by 1080 is not instantaneous but a long painful process. Once again DOC apparently doesn’t care about the agonising death these animals have suffered.

When I first entered Nelson Lakes National Park in 1969 the dawn chorus was absolutely deafening.  I have never heard anything approaching it since. As 1080 drops became prevalent and wide ranging, the forest became more and more quiet. 

This was observed by a large number of people who spent time in our forests. Quite clearly, the birds were disappearing.

What is killing the birds?

Now, possums were introduced into NZ in 1837; stoats in the 1880’s to control rabbits; and rats had been around since about 1300 AD, introduced by the Maoris.

How many excessive beech seedings (masts), occurred between 1880 and 1969? DOC claims there have been three between 2000 and now 2017. I have seen evidence of two but the third and most recent one certainly did not occur in my area.

Anyway, we are talking about three in say 20 years. Since 1880 up to 1969 then, you would have expected on average about 13 or 14. Why then with all these extra rats and stoats about in these 14 times was there such a huge abundance of birds in 1969?

Any reasonable person would conclude that rats and stoats are NOT responsible for the demise of birds as DOC claims.

(To be continued.)

Yes for many years, I have also seen the decline in the bird life. People use to comment on our bird song where I live. This area was well trapped and no possums. But with the dropping of 1080 the birds have declined. Lake Rotoroa also has a trapping programme.I hope to retrieve a video from my old computer of a bush Robin actually eating a bait when it came down through the tree canopy.