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1080 has no impact on morepork

Media release

24 July 2014

1080 has no impact on morepork

A joint project between TBfree New Zealand and the Department of Conservation (DOC) showed no effect on native ruru (morepork) following an aerial pest control operation in Southland this winter.

The operation, using aerially applied 1080 bait, aimed to control bovine tuberculosis (TB) infected possums in the Hokonui Hills. It also provided an opportunity to radio tag and monitor the survival rate of 26 ruru during and after the operation.

“Of the 26 ruru radio-tagged, two birds removed their transmitters so were not able to be monitored. However, the other 24 birds were found safe and healthy when the post operational monitoring was completed,” said Brent Rohloff, OSPRI New Zealand Southern South Island Programme Manager.

OSPRI manages the TBfree New Zealand programme and is proud to be collaborating with DOC in its Battle for our Birds campaign.

TBfree New Zealand is undertaking pest control across some 300,000 hectares of the country where this year’s significant beech mast event is occurring. This includes the Kahurangi National Park, where there is a high population of TB-infected possums.

Ros Cole, Conservation Services Manager for DOC Southland, said TBfree New Zealand’s operations tie in well with the Department’s Battle for Our Birds campaign in Kahurangi.

“Between us, DOC and TBfree New Zealand have been able to cover a larger area to better protect natural values. This is particularly the case in Kahurangi. The TB control programme can suppress infected possum numbers and DOC gets the best possible outcome for native wildlife,” said Ms Cole.

Some of New Zealand’s most threatened birds such as mohua (yellow head) and whio (blue duck) will benefit from the pest control operations being carried out by DOC and TBfree New Zealand.

“Monitoring of native wildlife survival rates following pest control shows that a wide range of native wildlife and their habitats benefit from the knock back of introduced predators like possums, rats and stoats,” said Ms Cole.

-ends-


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