Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


DOC to protect species at risk from predator plague

Media release

29/1/14

Embargoed until 8 pm

DOC to protect species at risk from predator plague

The Department of Conservation is preparing a major new pest control campaign to protect vulnerable native species from an expected surge in rat and stoat numbers later this year.

Climatic conditions have prompted an unusually heavy forest flowering this summer across both islands. The flowering is particularly prominent in South Island beech trees.

DOC scientists predict the bumper seed fall resulting from this “masting” event will fuel rapid increases in rat and stoat numbers putting vulnerable populations of rare birds, bats and other species like threatened snails at high risk in the coming spring.

Director-General Lou Sanson says DOC has identified South Island forest sites with high risk populations and will be closely monitoring these areas in coming months for early signs of rapidly rising predator numbers.

He says similar conditions fourteen years ago drove rat and stoat levels to plague proportions and decimated South Island populations of rare species such as mōhua/yellowhead and kākāriki karanga/orange fronted parakeet.

“If predator trigger levels are reached again this year, we are ready to significantly extend our South Island aerial and ground-based protection operations as part of a “Battle for our Birds” campaign.

Lou Sanson says DOC teams are targeting extra protection this year for both mōhua and kākāriki along with at risk populations of kiwi, whio/blue duck, kea, kaka, rock wren, giant land snails and native bats.

“Field staff will be closely watching the seed fall and rat tracking results from  these key sites over the next few months.”

“We need to be ready to act quickly to knock back rat or stoat numbers before they overwhelm birds which are particularly vulnerable during the spring nesting season.”

Lou Sanson says DOC will be prepared to provide additional aerial 1080 protection over about half a million extra hectares of public conservation land in the South Island.

“We’re concerned that our existing trap and ground based networks will get overwhelmed if predator numbers rise rapidly. Our best, and fastest, option for protection over large tracts of rugged bush is using biodegradable 1080 baits by air.”

Lou Sanson says DOC will also be supporting this year’s planned “beech mast” response by increasing its maintenance level of aerial 1080 operations  over five years.

“Pest control is relentless  – we may not be able to eliminate the threat but we can increase the level of protection we provide.”

“Without protection, for example, kiwi are expected to disappear from the wild within two human generations — we need to act to give our native species a fighting chance.”

Maps detailing the vulnerable species to be protected and sites identified for potential aerial 1080 operations for 2014/15 along with a simple graphic illustrating the impacts of a beech mast are available at www.doc.govt.nz/battleforourbirds


Click for big version.

A short video explaining the impact of a beech cycle on predators and native species is also available at: http://youtu.be/fpwl36QUq60
For further information contact Rory Newsam 04 4713104 or 027 295 3809

Background: 

• DOC manages about 8.7 million hectares of public conservation land.
 
• The biodegradable poison 1080 is currently applied by air by DOC and TBfree NZ to control possums, rats and stoats on a total of about 440 000 hectares of public conservation land. This represents about 5 percent of all public conservation land.
 
• If required, DOC’s aerial 1080 response to this year’s South Island beech mast threat would increase by about 500 000 hectares and this together with TBfree NZ’s planned programme would result in a total of about a  million hectares of public conservation land being treated with aerial 1080 in 2014/15. This represents about 12 percent of all public conservation land.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Alison McCulloch: Lest We Remember

Local iwi have plans to spruce up the Te Ranga site as part of the 150th commemorations this year of key battles in the “New Zealand Wars”, but not a lot of money to do it with.

Information gathered from numerous government agencies shows that while more than $25 million is being spent on monuments and commemorations relating to foreign wars, primarily World War I and its centenary, only around $250,000 has been set aside for those fought on our own soil. More>>

Anne Russell: Anzac Day - Identity Politics, With Guns

Even cursory research into media reports from the past forty years reveals a cultural shift in the commemoration of Anzac Day. Among other things, turnout at Dawn services has increased significantly in recent decades.

Contemporary numbers are estimated at 3,000-4,000 in Wellington, and 10,000-15,000 in Auckland. Newspaper reports from the 1970s and 80s estimated Wellington turnouts at 300-800, and Auckland at anywhere from 600 to 4,000. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Spookwatch: New Inspector-General Of Intelligence And Security Appointed

Prime Minister John Key hasannounced the appointment of Cheryl Gwyn as Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. The appointment was made by the Administrator of the Government on behalf of the Governor General and is for a term of three years. More>>

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>

COMMENT:

Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>

ALSO:

Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>

ALSO:

ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home. More>>

ALSO:

Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news