Stoat with chick

Image: David Hallet | ©


It's the only method that can be deployed rapidly to manage a pest boom over vast or rugged terrain. It’s cost effective and presents very little risk to the environment.

Mast years require fast action

What's a mast year and how does it cause a pest boom?

Aerial 1080 operations are fast enough to protect vast, remote and rugged areas from pest population booms.

Our native species need extra protection when pest populations are about to increase rapidly, which they do cyclically due to mass tree fruiting. We need to apply widespread and immediate pest control at such times.

Ground-based pest control is too slow to protect vast, remote and rugged areas, leaving the wildlife in those places at an increased risk of predation.

Access in rugged areas

1080 pest control operations provide full and accurate coverage in rugged areas.

Much of New Zealand’s wild spaces are steep and densely vegetated. They are either impossible or impractical to access due to the time and skill levels required to reach them.

It’s not possible to apply accurate and sufficient coverage over rugged terrain using only ground-based pest control. And when coverage is incomplete, pockets of surviving pest populations soon repopulate the surrounding areas, threatening the wildlife there.

Fit for New Zealand

1080 targets mammals, and New Zealand is unusual in that all our ground-dwelling mammals are introduced pests. Countries with endangered land mammals don't use 1080 as broadly.

Impact on the environment

1080 presents very little risk to the environment. It dilutes very quickly in water and is almost undetectable in waterways a short time after a drop. It does not bio-accumulate in soils, invertebrates or plants, including those used in cultural harvest.

DOC relies on external, independent scientific advice to assess risks associated with 1080 use.

Learn more about 1080 and safety

When compared with ground-based pest control, where trap or bait lines need to be cut, walked and maintained, 1080's impact on the environment is negligible.

Cost effective

Aerial 1080 operations are fast and cost effective for protecting large areas.

Ground-based pest control is considerably costlier. Labour, equipment and transport costs make such operations in large areas impractical.


There are no practical alternatives to aerial 1080 pest control over vast, remote and rugged terrain. We collaborate with others in researching new technology, such as self-resetting traps and genetic techniques.

Right now, we need to use 1080 to protect our native species. If we were to stop and wait for an alternative, progress would be lost, and many native species would face a grim future.

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