It's true! 50 tons of attractive, cereal food has been approved to be dropped into the Waitutu Valley, Fiordland. DoC are holding hands with Environment Southland, for this project.
The drop is being undertaken to protect Mistletoe, and Kaka, from increasing possum numbers - so they tell us! Just keep in mind that possums have only one young per year - and on rare occassions - twins. They do not breed like rabbits. Their populations don't, and can't, explode.
The drop will take place this winter, when the animals and birds are more hungry. It's a bit like throwing lollies in front of a toddler, really. Any animal, bird, insect, or aquatic organism is going to gobble this food up.
So what's the problem? Well, unfortunately for the wildlife, the food will be laced with the deadly pesticide, 1080. 1080 has no taste, it has no smell, and has no antidote.
And just to make sure the wildlife "takes the bait", there will most likely be a pre-feed drop. The pre-feed drop is undertaken about a week before the real thing, to gain the confidence of the forest creatures. This dummy run, bait drop, includes no poison. It's about a week later that the "Mistletoe-Kaka saving" poisonous food is offered.
This DoC sponsored food-poison drop - into one of the most pristine, natural parts of the world - is arrogant, ignorant, and ecocide. It's a criminal offence, in my opinion, plain and simple.
Taking into account that there is not (even after 17 years of trying) a single, credible, scientific study that shows a net population benefit to any native species through the use of aerial 1080 poison - not one - they press on!
It is estimated this operation will cost $600,000, and cover 25,000 hectares.
It is known that a single ground operator, trapping and using cyanide (a non secondary poison), can manage 4000 hectares, per year.
The $600,000 set aside for this operation could employ 24 ground operators, paid $25,000 each as a retainer, for 1 year, managing only 1000 hectares each - and what's more, these ground operator guys target only possums, mustilids, and rats - not the whole ecosystem!!!
It has to stop, and I for one, certainly hope this drop will not take place, and further more, I would like to know that the irresponsible, crazy pratice of aerial poisoning operations is banned before this lunacy comes to fruition in Fiordland. If you're opposed to this planned poison assault on Fiordland, and would like to voice your opinion, please visit www.thegrafboys.org, and follow the links to the government ministers, and let them know your opinions. Environment Southland ticked this project off, their web address is www.es.govt.nz. It's also worth visiting www.doc.govt.nz, and start educating them about the viable alternative - ground control.