More than 800,000 hectares of land across the country will be the target of the largest ever pest control operation in New Zealand’s history.
The Battle for our Birds 2016 programme will kick off this winter, aiming to knock back a burgeoning pest population boosted by heavy forest seeding, or mast.
Rat and stoat numbers are expected to explode without extensive pest control efforts, threatening native birds, insects, bats and reptiles.
An extra $20.7 million in new operating funding has been added to the programme, which will use aerial 1080 operations backed by on-going trapping and ground control programmes.
In a media release announcing the programme Conservation Minister Maggie Barry backed the use of 1080 to control pest numbers.
“Biodegradable 1080 remains the safest, most efficient and effective method of pest control in the rugged backcountry of New Zealand and we must use it if we are to protect our precious native creatures from the effect of the beech mast – we simply can’t allow ill-informed, unscientific campaigns to cause us to back away from what we need to do to save our taonga species.”
Coverage of the 2016 programme includes:
New Zealand Herald: Q&A: Department of Conservation’s Dr Graeme Elliott
Otago Daily Times: NZ’s largest 1080 operation set to launch
New Zealand Herald: Largest 1080 operation in NZ to be launched
Greymouth Star: Huge 1080 operations planned
Newstalk ZB: $20.7 million earmarked for huge pest control operation
Newshub: Second massive poisoning drop in parks set
MSN NZ News: Second massive poisoning drop in parks set
RNZ: Poison plan for ‘biblical’ plague of rats
TVNZ: Big funding boost to combat predicted rat plague