'Triple-hit' Tararua pest control operation underway
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionA “triple-hit” aerial pest control operation has begun today in the Tararua Forest Park aimed at boosting native bird numbers and also preventing the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in the Wairarapa.
Date: 08 November 2010 Source: Department of Conservation and Animal Health Board
A “triple-hit” aerial pest control operation has begun today in the Tararua Forest Park aimed at boosting native bird numbers and also preventing the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in the Wairarapa.
The joint operation is being carried out by the Department of Conservation (DOC) in conjunction with the Animal Health Board (AHB) and will target stoats, rats and possums in a 30,000 hectare zone on both sides of the Tararua Ranges.
Over the next two days GPS-guided helicopters will be applying cereal baits laced with the biodegradable poison, sodium monofluroacetate, also known as 1080, across a 22,000 hectare corridor of native forest stretching between Otaki Forks and Holdsworth road-end.
DOC Wairarapa Area Manager Chris Lester says pre-operation monitoring shows high rat and possum numbers in the park and urgent action is needed to protect vulnerable nesting birds and their chicks.The baits will target the three major predators threatening native birds such as kaka, kereru, tui, bellbirds and riflemen.
A further 8000 hectares along the eastern foothills of the park from the Tauherenikau River north to the Waingawa River was targeted in the previous week. This part of the operation is specifically aimed at reducing the risk of possums transmitting bovine TB to cattle and deer herds in the Wairarapa.
Chris Lester says the department has co-ordinated its Project Kaka operation with the Animal Health Board’s TBfree programme to achieve the maximum benefit for both threatened wildlife and local farmers in one hit.
Information on the operation and public safety has been posted at park entrances and huts in the treated zone.
Chris Lester says the biodegradable 1080-laced pellets will begin to break down over the coming week, but is particularly warning dog owners to avoid the region over the next few months.
“Dogs are especially vulnerable to the poison or to scavenging possum carcasses killed by 1080. Warning signs have been posted throughout the area and we’re asking pet owners to keep away until further notice and to watch out for carcasses washed down local rivers.”
Chris Lester is also advising park visitors, especially those with children to steer well clear of any green poison baits they may encounter.
1080 The active ingredient in 1080 – flouroacetate - is a naturally occurring plant toxin which is found in a number of Australian and African plants to deter browsing by animals. The toxin breaks down in both water and soil and does not accumulate in the environment.
Find out more: www.1080facts.co.nz
Project Kaka is an on-going pest control operation to restore the health of a wide range of wildlife and plant species in the Tararua Forest Park. The “Triple Hit” will occur when stoats feed on dead possums and rat carcasses.
Bovine TB is an infectious disease that can affect farmed cattle and deer. Possums are a major carrier of bovine TB and the Animal Health Board controls possums to reduce the risk of TB infection disrupting our export meat and dairy exports.
Animal Health Board
John Deal, Ph: 0274 750 654