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

 

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Regional
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news