DOC reviewing helicopter transport procedures
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionDOC is considering changes to its procedures after an investigation into an incident where rat bait fell from a helicopter operating on a remote Fiordland island last month.
Date: 23 July 2010
The Department of Conservation is considering changes to its procedures after an investigation into an incident where rat bait fell from a helicopter operating on a remote Fiordland island last month.
The report found the incident was due to strops being incorrectly located on a pod carrying the rat bait from Anchor Island during a routine pest eradication operation on a neighbouring island.
The Department is adopting all the recommendations from the investigation including standardising the design and securing of bait pods when they are used for animal pest operations.
“The findings from this incident will help us improve how we undertake island pest eradications” said Barry Hanson, Conservator for the Department’s Southland Conservancy. “New Zealand is a world leader in this type of work and a large part of our success has been from us not just maximising those aspects that have been really successful but also from learning from when things go wrong.”
A ground search immediately after the incident indicated that all the bait fell into a lake on Anchor Island.
Ongoing monitoring of water samples by Landcare Research has found no trace of toxin. This was expected due to the large volume of water in the lake and the low concentration of poison in the bait.
Conservator, Southland Conservancy
+64 3 211 2414; +64 27 438 2399