1080 or death to natives

Doc, Federated Farmers, Ospri, Royal Forest & Bird and WWF-NZ are countering the emotion against 1080 with facts:

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is fully committed to the use of 1080 to protect our forests and native wildlife in the face of the current campaign of misinformation and is joined by other agencies in standing up for the use of this pesticide.

New Zealand’s native wildlife is in crisis. The flocks of native birds that used to fill our forests have been killed and replaced by vast populations of rats, possums, stoats and other introduced predators. This is not the future most New Zealanders want.

These animals also carry diseases which pose a danger to people, pets and farm animals.

DOC, OSPRI (TBfree NZ), Federated Farmers, Forest & Bird and WWF-NZ all agree that 1080 is an effective, safe and valuable tool in the fight to protect New Zealand’s forests and native birds, bats, insects and lizards.

The agencies above, along with community groups and volunteers, invest huge amounts of time and effort to protect out native taonga from predation. There are multiple tools and technologies used to control predators of which 1080 is one. 1080 is a highly effective toxin and a necessary tool to help protect our native species.

We use a range of methods including the latest self-setting traps and there is significant research being undertaken into pest control technologies. However, Forest and Bird volunteer trappers agree they could never cover the vast and inaccessible areas that aerial 1080 operations can. Biodegradable aerial 1080 is the most effective tool we have for suppressing rats, possums and stoats in one operation over large, difficult to access wilderness areas—where most of our native wildlife lives.

Huge areas of native bush is inaccessible by foot and the only way currently available to kill pests where trapping is impossible is 1080.

Scientific and technological advances, including genetic modification, might provide alternatives in the future but there are no viable alternatives now.

These organisations use or advocate for 1080 because it is backed by years of rigorous testing, review and research by scientists from Landcare Research, Universities, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), Ministry of Health and the independent Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

In 2011, the former Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright wrote a comprehensive report on 1080 and the current Parliamentary Commissioner, Dr Simon Upton, stands by Dr Wright’s analysis and recommendations.

The results are clear that where 1080 is used, our birds and native wildlife start to flourish.

We understand that some New Zealanders have genuine concerns and fears about 1080 in relation to the environment, water, animal welfare and wild food sources. We urge them to seek out www.1080thefacts.co.nz that addresses these issues.

New Zealanders have a choice: use 1080 to protect our native species over large-scale wilderness areas or end up with collapsing and denuded forests and our native species restricted to pest-free islands and fenced sanctuaries.


Lou Sanson, Director-General, Department of Conservation

Chris Allen, Board Member, Federated Farmers

Barry Harris, Chair, OSPRI

Kevin Hague, Chief Executive, Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society

Livia Esterhazy, Chief Executive, WWF-NZ

Predator Free 2050 is an ambitious goal which will need a range of pest control measures to achieve, including some not yet invented or feasible.

Until science and technology come up with effective alternatives, the choice is 1080 or death to native birds, bats, insects and lizards, and the destruction of native fauna.

3 Responses to 1080 or death to natives

  1. Roger Barton says:

    In the eastern Tararuas we have been subject to the use of 1080 since 1977 as far as I’m aware. The more structured cereal baiting started in 1993 with refinements to this methodology applied since then. As an adjunct to this large scale work courtesy of DOC and the AHB/Ospri we run bait stations using broadificoum cereal pellets. Plus limited night shooting which is quite inefficient in my view.
    In the last 20 or so years I have not had one solitary request for someone to night shoot or run poison or trap lines. We are only 7km from town and great access through tracking and bush margin work.
    The non believers do my head in….all yabba no action in my view.


  2. shane says:

    Russell forest is walkable, there is technology available today that can provide effective solutions in such forest.

    I found some points of your article misleading. Any area given pest control of landscape scale responds with increased bird life. It is not the tool as self in this case described as aerial 1080. Eco-land has worked with no form of funding on new pest control technology for 9 years.

    We now are in a position to confidently promote that where a person can walk we are economically, environmentally and socially able to provide solutions where aerial delivery can not. Our only problem is access to work opportunity! 1 professional person can work 4500ha per year in dense forest habitat.

    The contractor that followed up on Tararua’s work with leg hold traps would be disappointed to see the above comments also.

    Should you wish to know more I would invite further discussion, if you prefer to continue dispelling misinformation you are also welcome to continue!

    But I ask you first check that aerial 1080 can deliver with no non
    targets species deaths and yearly maintain possum targets to under 10%
    WTI (wax tag index) and decimate rats and mice populations………
    Kind Regards


  3. Roger Barton says:

    To Shane. I see the Russell forest in the media this morning. The Northland Forest and Bird guy plus DOC spokesman describe it as near collapse and difficult country, a trapper would be lucky to cover 1 km per hour.
    I’m curious as to why you think the trapper who followed up on the Tararuas operation would be disappointed with the comments above? Any trapping was part of the DO/Ospri/AHB programme. Not some trapper looking for commercial return from fur.
    Topped up a bait station this morning and shot a solitary opossum last night whilst attending to water intake issues.


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