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


Recovery of Russell Forest begins

Forest & Bird says the results of an aerial 1080 operation in Northland’s Russell Forest show how effective the tool is in knocking down the predators that kill native wildlife and cause native forest collapse.

Department of Conservation figures show that following the September operation, rats in Russell Forest have dropped from around 76 percent to less than 1 percent. Possums were at 79 percent and are now at around 16 percent.

“This spring, native birds have finally been able to to nest in peace, and instead of rats and possums feasting on the flowers and leaves of native trees – native birds, insects and lizards have benefited instead,” says Forest & Bird’s Northland Conservation Advocate Dean Baigent-Mercer.

Mr Baigent-Mercer says only aerial 1080 could have achieved these dramatic results.

“Two helicopters worked together to scatter 1080 baits across 6,000 hectares of rugged Russell Forest. It took less than five hours. To cut tracks close enough to carry out effective pest control targeting rats, possums, stoats, weasels and feral cats would take years, especially since this forest has kauri dieback present.”

Forest & Bird has worked for years to highlight the collapse of Russell Forest, releasing drone footage in 2015 to show the extent of the damage.

“When we filmed Russell Forest from a helicopter just prior to the 1080 operation, the place was devastated, with tōtara, pohutukawa, northern rātā and pūriri dying on a large scale.”

“Because the forest is so damaged, with very low bird numbers, it will take some years to see an impressive recovery, but this is a significant start.”

Between 1979-93 wildlife surveys showed an 80 percent decline in kūkupa (kererū) numbers in Russell Forest.

“At the time of the operation, vandals drained 2000 litres of aviation fuel into the earth and attacked pest control equipment. Despite the sabotage attempt, the operation went really well and we can now see the successful results.”

Mr Baigent-Mercer says this was the largest pest control operation the forest has seen in decades. Some of the forest received aerial 1080 in 1995 but since then pest control work has been small in scale compared to the size of the forest.

“Tragically, most of Whangaroa Forest continues to collapse after the postponement of an aerial 1080 operation this year. All Northland native forests without comprehensive pest control have been collapsing for decades.”

Rākaumangamanga/Cape Brett, located in the Bay of Islands, was also included in the September 1080 operation and has achieved similarly successful results. Pre-operation monitoring showed 14 percent rats, 17 percent mice and 34.3 percent possums, compared to 0 percent rats, 0 percent mice and 4 percent possums following the spring aerial 1080 operation.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joseph Cederwall: The End Of ‘Objectivity’ In Journalism

... and the dawn of something much better?
2019 looks like it might well be another really bad, terrible, not so good year for the traditional journalism model globally. Already in January three leading US digital outlets—BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, and Vice announced layoffs that have left many accomplished journalists unemployed. Consolidation of journalism looks set to continue unabated as larger (sharky) media conglomerates swallow up smaller players globally. We also appear to be witnessing the death throes of the concept of ‘objective’ truth in journalism. However, perhaps that is not at all as bad as it sounds, and we are just finally waking up to the reality that it never really existed in the first place... More>>


Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>


Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>


Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>


Party Politics In Tax Morale Survey: SSC To Seek Answers From IRD

Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins has today asked the State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes to examine IRD’s reported inappropriate use of a public survey. More>>


Health: Prohibiting Smoking In Vehicles Carrying Children

Under the change, Police will be able to require people to stop smoking in their cars if children (under 18) are present. Police will also be able to use their discretion to give warnings, refer people to stop-smoking support services, or issue an infringement fee of $50... It is expected that this amendment will become law by the end of 2019. More>>


Waitangi Day: Nationwide Events Commemorate Treaty Signing

“From large-scale events attracting tens of thousands of people such as those at Hoani Waititi Marae in Auckland and the Porirua Waterfront, to smaller gatherings in areas as far flung as the Chatham Islands and to the significant commemorations at Waitangi, these events are an opportunity for us to reflect on the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels