Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Pest control may be last chance for Waikaia mōhua

Pest control may be last chance for Waikaia mōhua


The recent rediscovery of threatened mōhua/yellowhead in Waikaia Forest, northern Southland, means a pest control operation planned by the Department of Conservation (DOC) soon is essential.

DOC Catlins services ranger Cheryl Pullar said consent by Environment Southland for the drop had been granted and they expected it to go ahead in August or September.

Ms Pullar said the sighting of mōhua last year surprised DOC staff as they thought the birds had disappeared from this area during the last beech mast in 2000. This year’s beech mast means rats, mice and stoats could reach damaging levels again by summer.

DOC scientist Graeme Elliott said if pest control was not carried out in Waikaia forest, mōhua would completely disappear from the area forever. “This may be the last opportunity to protect them and recover this population,” Mr Elliott said.

Mōhua were once common in Southland but now lived only in fragmented populations.
“They’ve already gone from patches of bush around Southland and this year’s beech mast will finish them off in Waikaia if we don’t control the rats, mice and stoats,” Mr Elliott said.

“Pest control will allow this population of mōhua to recover to similar levels of those in the Catlins, where flocks of dozens of mōhua are visible, especially along the upper end of the Catlins River Walk.”


Ms Pullar said DOC was in the planning stages of the aerial drop which would cover just under 7000 hectares of the Waikaia Forest in northern Southland, as part of the national Battle for our Birds operation. Ms Pullar and other staff have been consulting with the local community on the operation.

Silver beech in the area were masting heavily and tracking tunnels by DOC to measure the density of rats showed there was a rise in the population, Ms Pullar said. When the seeds ran out, rats and stoats would target native species, including mōhua.
DOC planned and delivered these operations carefully to ensure aerial sowing of 1080 was accurate.

“Boundaries of the areas will be marked with GPS technology and buffer zones from the boundaries, around waterways and other non target areas have also been plotted. Signage warning of the operation will be put up at entries to the forest, and tracks within the operation areas will be cleared by DOC staff at the time of the operation,” she said.

Up to two weeks before the aerial 1080 operation a pre-feed operation will be carried out using non-toxic baits dropped over the entire block at about 1kg per hectare. The pellets containing 1080 will be distributed about a week later. The 1080 is biodegradable and disperses quickly in water to non-toxic levels. The pellets will contain deer repellent to control by-kill.

Conservation Minister Nick Smith recently confirmed Battle for our Birds operations would be carried out in 29 forests throughout the country this year, covering 700,000 ha by November. Another 14 forests covering 200,000 ha were on “close watch”.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news