The SPCA’s anti-1080 policy isn’t just naive, it’s dangerous | The Spinoff

Dead stoat poisoned by 1080

I’ve known for years that the cost and logistics of managing and eventually eliminating the introduced predators that are killing off our native bird species is not possible with trapping alone, and that even if it was we would not have enough people in New Zealand to do the job, man, woman and children included, yet many think we can.

Which gets pretty weird, but maybe this is because an estimated 80% percent of the population are urban dwellers. Then another factor is that 70% don’t think we have a problem!

Well we do! Here is one of the main culprits [by the way in less damp terrain the humble hedgehog is also, along with the stoat and feral cat, up there high on the list of the most efficient killers of birds].

This dead stoat was retrieved by myself high up on the track to Cascade Saddle in Mt Aspiring National Park after the application of 1080 in the West Matukituki Valley in 2014. The “find” was rated so useful by the Dept of Conservation that a 4wd vehicle was dispatched immediately on recipient of my radio call, and the body taken out to Wanaka and then sent off for a pathology report. Such is the detail sought after and attended to by DOC!

Dead stoat poisoned by 1080

And so here we have below some mind boggling figures for trapping just a small portion of New Zealand’s native bird habitat –  published today in response to a highly publicised statement by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:

The SPCA’s suggestion that trapping could replace toxins is totally naive. Let’s look at the logistics:The Department of Conservation is looking at treating 1 million hectares of conservation land with 1080 this year. To do just 250 hectares of trapping, targeting multiple species as 1080 does, you’d need to cut trap-lines 45km long, in grids through the forest. Let’s multiply that by just the conservation land in Northland alone. (116,000h/250h) * 45km = 21,000 km of trapline – which is enough to wrap halfway around the planet. Then you’d need 420,000 rat traps,

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The SPCA’s current anti-1080 policy in New Zealand