DOC and AHB join forces for a ‘triple hit’ on forest pests
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionDOC and the Animal Health Board have joined forces to boost native bird populations and forest health in the Tararua ranges, and reduce the risk of bovine tuberculosis (TB) to cattle and deer herds in the Wairarapa.
Date: 15 June 2010 Source: Department of Conservation and Animal Health Board
The Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Animal Health Board (AHB) have joined forces to boost native bird populations and forest health in the Tararua ranges, and reduce the risk of bovine tuberculosis (TB) to cattle and deer herds in the Wairarapa.
The department’s Project Kaka - Tararua Nature Recovery initiative and the AHB’s Woodside-Holdsworth Crown aerial operation will be run in spring 2010 as a single co-ordinated operation, covering around 30,000 ha.
The AHB is aiming to control possums along the eastern foothills of Tararua Forest Park from the Tauherenikau River north to the Waingawa River, to reduce the risk of cattle and deer herds becoming infected with bovine TB carried by possums.
DOC is planning a ‘triple hit’ on possums, rats and stoats over the 22,000 ha Project Kaka zone between Otaki Forks and Holdsworth road-end. This will be timed to better protect native birds during their nesting period, when they are most at risk of being killed by pests. It will also improve the health of the native vegetation. Possums, rats and stoats are the three main pests that have already substantially reduced birds and other native wildlife in the Tararua ranges. Possums also devour our native vegetation.
DOC’s Wellington Hawke’s Bay conservation support manager Ben Reddiex said while the two organisations had different objectives, they both used the same methods and their programmes were mutually beneficial.
“Combining our operations will save us both time and money, and enable us to work together to inform the community,” AHB programme manager Alan Innes said.“It makes sense to run the adjoining programmes simultaneously, at a time that provides maximum benefits for native birds,” he said.
Non toxic cereal baits, coloured brown, will be dropped by helicopter before the operation so that animal pests will learn to recognise them as a food source. This will be followed up with a drop of green-dyed toxic (1080) baits.
The joint operation is planned for the first period of fine weather after 1 August, which will help protect native birds from predators during the spring months.
“Native birds will benefit from the simultaneous control of nest predators over a large area, and the synchronised operation will minimise disruption to hunters and dog owners,” Dr Reddiex said.
Department of Conservation
Sue Galbraith, Ph: + 64 4 470 8435
Animal Health Board
Mike Hansen, Ph: +64 4 474 7833