Monday, 25 February 2013

1080 Update

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a post on 1080, and I thought I’d share a few titbits that I’ve come across recently.

The latest issue (March/April 2013) of Organic NZ has an excellent article, “Beyond 1080,” by Rebecca Reider which unfortunately is not available online for free (although the whole magazine is, for a fee). Reider highlights the Urewera National Park story where possums are being controlled primarily by trapping, and to a lesser extent through use of poison bait stations rather than aerial 1080 drops, and she writes, “The proof of success is in the resurgence of birds: in one area of the park, in the mid 1990s there were eight kokako pairs, teetering on local extinction; now there are over 100 pairs.” She also notes the project provides some local employment. With possum fur fetching over $100/kilo, plenty of fit rural folks keen to run trap lines, and unemployment a significant issue for many, it is unfortunate that DoC (Department of Conservation) persists in their mantra that there is no affordable alternative to aerial 1080 drops. The article is a worthwhile read. (Actually, the whole magazine is a worthwhile read...I subscribe...)

Rebecca Reider’s beautiful and impassioned plea for the cessation of aerial 1080 in the Golden Bay area (north end of the South Island) delivered last June to Environmental Commissioner Jan Wright is mentioned in a previous post, but worth sharing again here:

And speaking of birds, with much fur flying over Gareth Morgan's anti-cat campaign, a letter to the editor in the DomPost the other day mentioned the disappointing lack of birds the author had noticed on a recent walk in Rimutaka Forest Park near Wellington. I couldn’t help penning a brief reply, which was published in the paper a few days later, asking if the lack of birds might possibly be linked to the aerial 1080 drop there a few months ago. (See my previous posts Planned 1080 Aerial Drop in Wellington’s Back Yard and 1080 Drop Near Wellington August Update.) It seems unlikely to me to be the result of a cat problem in the Rimutakas.

While looking up something else the other day, I stumbled across a wonderful article by Emily Davidow on Wellington water that compared the clarity, aroma, taste and flavour of water from a variety of Wellington sites. First place was awarded to a private Waikanae spring, with Lower Hutt tap water rating second. Water from the Buick Street bore in Petone—often touted as the finest water in the region—came 4th out of their 12 samples in a taste test. Carteron’s tap water rated last: “Nasty” with a “Janola nose”.   The description made me chuckle. The author went on to give a big plug for getting the fluoride out of our water.

The 1080 connection to this water story came in a comment left by the author at the bottom of the post talking about taking a guided walk through the Wainuiomata water catchment area and learning about the 1080 drops there. “I was surprised to learn how much 1080 is aerial dropped over the entire catchment area, contaminating the water supply and entire ecosystem.” Click into Emily Davidow's article—if you live locally, it’s a delightful read—and scroll down to the comments to catch the rest of what she has to say about 1080.

I’ll end this post with a new Graf Boys video published about three months ago on 1080 drops being done by Waikato Regional Council. 

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