Protection underway for native birds in the Tararuas
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionAn aerial pest control operation targeted to protect native birds nesting in the Tararua Ranges from possums, rats and stoats began today.
Date: 04 October 2010 Source: Department of Conservation and Animal Health Board
An aerial pest control operation targeted to protect native birds nesting in the Tararua Ranges from possums, rats and stoats began today.
The joint Tararua Forest Park operation is being carried out by the Department of Conservation (DOC) in conjunction with the Animal Health Board (AHB).
It is being co-ordinated to boost the numbers of native birds such as kaka, kereru, tui and bellbird in the park, as well as to protect Wairarapa cattle and deer herds from bovine tuberculosis (TB).
North Island kaka
Over the next few days GPS-guided helicopters will be applying non-toxic cereal baits over a 30,000 hectare zone from Otaki Forks through to the Holdsworth road-end and along the eastern foothills of the Tararua Ranges.
This aerial non-toxic pre-feed application using cinnamon flavoured pellets is designed to attract possums and rats. The pre-feed operation is scheduled to conclude tomorrow and will be followed in coming weeks with a second application using baits laced with the biodegradable sodium monofluoroacetate poison, also known as 1080.
The exact timing of the second application using poison-laced baits is weather dependent.
DOC’s Wairarapa Area Manager Chris Lester says the “triple-hit” Project Kaka operation has been specifically timed to reduce pest numbers to low levels during the nesting period, when birds and their chicks are most vulnerable to attack from predators.
“Current monitoring shows high numbers of rats and possums in the park and we need to act if we are to protect this valuable forest and give the chicks born this season a decent chance of survival.”
DOC has worked closely with the AHB. The bovine TB control component of the operation in the eastern foothills will maximise the protection for local cattle and deer herds. ENDS