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

Snowden Documents: Show New Zealand Spies On Its Pacific Friends And Sends Data To US

NZ Herald link: New Zealand's spies are targeting the entire email, phone and social media communications of the country's closest, friendliest and most vulnerable neighbours, according to documents supplied by United States fugitive and whistleblower Edward Snowden. More>>

ALSO:

The Intercept: NZ Spies On Neighbors In Secret 'Five Eyes' Global Surveillance
[The GCSB] has been sweeping up the data from across the Asia-Pacific region, targeting island nations such as Tuvalu, Nauru, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tonga and France’s overseas territories New Caledonia and French Polynesia. Each of these small nations and territories maintains friendly relations with New Zealand. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news