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Kiwis for kiwi - Kiwis for kiwi – 1080 Position Statement

The Kiwi Trust (t/a Kiwis for kiwi) supports DOC, regional councils, OSPRI, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Forest and Bird, Predator Free 2050 Ltd, NEXT Foundation, Tindall Foundation, Foundation North, Rata Foundation, Predator Free NZ Trust and numerous other conservation groups, in presenting the scientific evidence to support the use of 1080.

The Problem

NZ’s flora and fauna is being decimated by introduced pests and predators.  Kiwi in unmanaged areas have only a 5% chance of surviving to adulthood (3 years of age).  Trapping can increase that to an estimated 60% survival rate, but is not a scalable solution to reach the millions of hectares, often in rugged/inaccessible landscape, that need protection.

In addition, research has shown[1]  that over time, some pests (stoats in particular) become averse to traps. Even with trapping, toxins are needed to remove these animals from the system.  1080 is currently the most effective toxin to kill stoats through secondary poisoning when they feed on poisoned prey like rats.

Without an increase in pest control activity we are at risk of losing many of the indigenous plant and animal species in NZ, including kiwi.  Pertinent specifically for Kiwis for kiwi, our strategy to increase North Island brown kiwi numbers is dependent on having large tracts of safe habitat available to release kiwi to.

1080 is currently the most effective tool for cost-effectively treating large areas of land, yet its use is not accepted or embraced by all NZers.  A highly emotional campaign, based sometimes on misinformation rather than scientific evidence or facts, has been launched by a contingent of ‘’anti-1080’’ people, causing confusion and concern about its use.

The national Kiwi Recovery Plan, with its goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030, requires use of more 1080 in conjunction with other tools like Operation Nest Egg.  Without it, the national population of kiwi numbers will get so low there will not be enough birds to operate a breeding program. At that point extinction is almost certain.

Kiwis for kiwi’s position

Kiwis for kiwi supports the controlled[2] use of 1080, both aerially and ground-based, particularly in large, remote landscapes.

Reasons:

  1. Extensive scientific research has proven it to be safe to humans and kiwi
  2. Extensive scientific research has proven it to be effective in knocking back predators.
  3. It is the best tool we currently have for landscape scale pest and predator control. Trapping is not possible at the scale and in the rugged terrain where this work needs to be done.
  4. It is the most cost-effective method of treating large areas of land.
  5. Kiwi survival increases significantly after a 1080 operation. Hundreds of kiwi have been monitored through 1080 operations in the past 10 years and not one has died as a result of poisoning.

 

[1] HA Robertson, E Craig, C Gardiner & PJ Graham (2016): Short pulse of 1080 improves the survival of brown kiwi chicks in an area subjected to long-term stoat trapping, New Zealand Journal of Zoology, DOI: 10.1080/03014223.2016.1185018

[2] 1080 is subject to a range of controls under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996.  These include requirements for special Controlled Substance Licenses (CSL) for the handling and transport of 1080, tracking of its location and movement, and secure storage.