The Green Party on 1080 and predator control

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, October 29th, 2017 - 197 comments
Categories: Conservation, Environment, greens, sustainability - Tags:

I keep hearing people slamming the Greens for their allegedly evil stance on 1080, so why don’t we look at what their actual policy says. This was updated in June 2017, so is very recent. I suggest for people who are really interested to read the whole Conservation Policy, because what I am about to quote is better understood in the context of that. However even looking at the bullet points is useful to get a general sense of where the Greens stand.

The full Conservation Policy can be found at the bottom of this GP website page. I’m pulling out the bits most relevant to predator control for the purposes of native species preservation.

___________________________________________________________________

Key Principles

  • Aotearoa New Zealand’s indigenous plants, animals and ecosystems must be protected.
  • Community enthusiasm for protecting Aotearoa New Zealand’s indigenous plants, animals and ecosystems will be fostered.
  • Support must be given to whānau and hapū in carrying out kaitiaki responsibilities in conservation management.
  • The health of natural areas must not be compromised by economic activity.

Specific Policy Points

Protect Threatened Indigenous Species

  • Ensure there is a connected network of protected areas with all ecosystem types represented; this means conserving the areas we have already protected and providing greater protections to new areas.
  • Ensure all threatened species have a recovery plan in place.
  • Establish new, larger ‘mainland islands’ for intensive pest management.
  • Research the impacts of climate change on indigenous biodiversity and develop strategies for adaptation.
  • Prohibit new prospecting, exploration, and mining on or under conservation land.

Reduce Pest Threats to Biodiversity

  • Develop and fund national pest management strategies.
  • Significantly increase funding for pest eradication and control.
  • Support replacing poisons with humane and safe biological and physical animal pest controls wherever practical.

[my emphasis]

From the full policy,

7. Reducing Pest Threats to Biodiversity

A. Pest Management Strategies

The Green Party vision is for thriving biodiversity, no further extinctions, and restoration of healthy populations, habitats and ecosystems. In order to achieve this, the Green Party seeks to eradicate pest plants and animals that threaten signicant ecological values wherever possible, and to control them where eradication is not possible.

B. Use of Poisons in Animal Pest Control

Currently animal pest control in Aotearoa New Zealand involves the extensive use of poisons in ground and aerial operations because they are generally cost effective means of controlling animal pest species. Modern technology allows more precise distribution of aerial poison such as 1080 than in the past, and the amount of poison per hectare has been reduced while still maintaining effectiveness.

However, the use of poisons on a large scale, particularly near people’s homes, poses ecological risks and raises community concerns. The Green Party Environment policy aims to minimise the use of all persistent, environmentally damaging, or non-sustainably produced poisons, especially when using aerial distribution, and we strongly support research and promotion of other pest control methods. 1080 poison is widely used to control pest species as it degrades relatively rapidly and is not bio-accumulative. Nonetheless it is acutely toxic to a number of non-target animals including dogs and native wildlife, is considered inhumane by many, and there may be as yet undiscovered long-term toxicological effects arising from its widespread use.

The Green Party aspires to see indigenous biodiversity and farm animal health maintained and enhanced, and eradication and control of pest animals achieved with minimal use of poisons, and without the use of genetically modifed organisms. We recognise that currently it is not feasible to stop all use of poisons for animal pest control without unacceptable adverse impacts on biodiversity and forest health. However, we believe that current and developing integrated ground control methods offer opportunities, and that increased research and development will extend alternatives to aerial 1080 over time that are both affordable and effective.

___________________________________________________________________

To me that’s pretty clear. The Greens support both control of predators to maximise survival of native species (in the context of other actions e.g. ecosystem preservation and restoration), and they want that control to be done humanely and with regard for the potential negative impact of poisons i.e. where possible don’t poison. This is a position that sits between green values (poisons are problematic) and conservation values (endangered species won’t survive if we don’t act urgently).

They also understand that in some cases eradication isn’t possible. Given that National’s Predator-free by 2050 wiley bribe plan was announced a year ago, I think that’s a pretty plain signal from the Greens that they don’t believe National’s plan is achievable (which is what most people who aren’t caught up in the spin understand).

The thing that stands out for me is the length of the section on 1080 and poison. This is a position thoughtfully conceived, taking into account a range of views, and needs within the environment. They’ve taken trouble to explain the position in detail.

I disagree with their statement that poison use is decreasing, but other than that I think their positioning is sound and the best compromise between saving native fauna and not doing so at the expense of the environment or animal welfare.

I don’t believe that it’s possible to eradicate all predators in NZ, and have increasing concerns about the ideological stances that are being taken without thought for the realities on the ground. I also don’t think we should be using 1080 willy nilly until science gives us some mythical new tech to wipe out all the possums, rats, stoats, weasels, mice, cats, hedgehogs, magpies, and so on. From an ecological position we need to use the least impactful processes possible, and from a sustainability position we need to create predator control systems that will last over time.

The thing that bothers me most is the increasing polarisation between the nativists and the anti-poison people. There’s lots of room in between. For instance I’d love to see discussion about the non-poison methods that NZ could be developing and putting in place, particularly in the context of other needs like regional development and employment. The easiest way to get 1080 use lessened is to create viable alternatives.

Moderator note: 1080 and predator control is a controversial topic, please bear in mind that while robust debate is encouraged, there is also a requirement to not make the conversation anti-social. 

 

197 comments on “The Green Party on 1080 and predator control”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    I’m siding with Angel Fish 🙂
    I oppose the pouring of enormous amounts of money into a rat-hole.
    Rat’s can’t be beat, in my opinion. We have to accommodate them and develop a thriving, managed ecosystem that allows for their presence. Possums, otoh, need a predator. The Papua New Guinean eagle would do the trick nicely 🙂

    • weka 1.1

      AF appears to believe that we should put birds in sanctuaries and stop doing predator control of any kind outside of that. They also thought that the Greens were pro-1080.

      • Angel Fish 1.1.1

        @Weka
        That’s correct. My opposition is towards animal cruelty.
        And the in between solution are those sanctuaries.

        There’s currently 85 such sanctuaries in existence.
        http://www.sanctuariesnz.org/projects.asp

        If we take the Brook Waimarama project as an example, the cost is,
        – $4.7 Million dollars / 691 Ha = $6800 per Hectare and takes 2-3 years.
        The idea behind is not to vainly try and conquer the entire country,
        but simply secure some locations for the native birds,
        while surrendering the rest.

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/92882995/Ripples-over-Brook-Waimarama-Sanctuary-funding-at-council-meeting
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/84590056/Brook-Waimarama-Sanctuary-pest-proof-fence-completed

        From a cruelty point of view, the killing is not something that has to be constantly repeated, year after year. Once an area is rid of pests, it’s secured by a pest proof fence. Takes 2-3 years.

        From Green policy;
        “- Significantly increase funding for pest eradication and control.
        – Support replacing poisons with humane and safe biological and physical animal pest controls wherever practical.”

        This is concerning. DoC already uses something like $100 million dollars per year with Nationals increase. And the Greens want to increase this, so they stand to spend more than the people that envisioned the predator free 2050 project!

        Their claims of supporting alternatives are just crocodile tears as far as I am concerned. If they are concerned, they would postpone measures until they’ve found said alternative, if that. I personally think we’ve no right to kill millions of possums but if it’s at least done without causing them pain, then I can tolerate it.

        This fixation and over emphasis on local extinctions is irrational.
        A mass extinction process is taking place over the entire world thanks to human activities. So funding should be put towards helping us make the transition to the more suitable lifestyle.

        Stop the pest eradication plans, allocate their current $100 million dollar budget(greens want a “significant” increase over this) towards ecological sanctuaries instead.

        That will yield 14705 Ha of pest free land every 2-3 years, with just a one time act of cruelly killing these animals.

        • weka 1.1.1.1

          What’s the point of sanctuaries? We could just keep some of each species in a zoo.

          The animal welfare one doesn’t wash because you are saying that outside of the reservation it’s ok for whole species to go extinct. I think that’s hugely problematic in terms of our responsibilities to animals. I don’t differentiate between a human killing a rat or a rat killing a kiwi chick, except that the human has a moral obligation to not do that cruelly.

          • Angel Fish 1.1.1.1.1

            Do you even live a plant based lifestyle?
            Never mind dealing with the ethics of animal treatment,
            from a conservation point of view, the damage caused by Animal agriculture
            is far worse than what some pests are doing locally.
            So if you are really concerned for the extinctions of animals, you would start by
            correcting that harmful lifestyle first.
            Otherwise, you are just fooling yourself.

            Being against extinctions and yet participating in a lifestyle that threatens species is counter intuitive. Especially with eating fish.

            As for ethics, you have a very flimsy grasp on ethics.
            You suggest zoos. Why not keep just a few of their kind alive, you asked.
            That right there betrays your actual reason for getting all worked up to save these animals. You are not concerned for their wellbeing, you are concerned that YOU won’t get to see them anymore.
            The value you place on these animals is not empathetic towards the sentience of these creatures, but is placed on the value they have due to their “uniqueness”.

            The ethical stand is to oppose cruelty all together or at the very least choose the method that causes the least suffering.
            Ecological sanctuaries are such an alternative.
            You make your article about yearning for a middle ground, but really you just want the opposition to solely compromise on their values, and for you to not have to make any compromises. That isn’t playing fair.

            • weka 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I’ve been writing about these issues on TS for a while, over a year as an author and many years as a commenter. Before you start putting words in my mouth or misinterpreting what I think I suggest either doing some research on my position or asking me.

              Ecological sanctuaries without intervention in nature is like putting the natives on the reservation but not allowing them sovereignty. It’s also hugely problematic in terms of animal welfare and ecology, because nature works in systems. You can’t replicate the hug variety of systems we have in NZ in small or even medium number of sanctuaries. I reckon you should just be honest and say that you think killing animals is wrong, so let those species go extinct in the wild, and we’ll preserve some of them over here.

              My own position is that we need to practice conservation around whole ecosystems, not just species.

              “You make your article about yearning for a middle ground, but really you just want the opposition to solely compromise on their values, and for you to not have to make any compromises. That isn’t playing fair.”

              Not sure what you mean there tbh. I already straddle the divide between say nativists and hunters, for me there is no ‘opposition’ and there is plenty of compromise. For instance, I don’t like 1080 but I concede that it works, and is useful in some situations. I don’t like the idea of leaving nature to run it’s course, but I also don’t like the idea that native is always better. And so on.

              “So if you are really concerned for the extinctions of animals, you would start by
              correcting that harmful lifestyle first.”

              My lifestyle is to seek reduction of my ecological footprint. Eating meat isn’t inherently bad and I’ll take the wild rabbit I had for dinner over monstanto-monocropped, imported, industrially processed soy any day. Not only that, I’ll make the arguments around why the rabbit is more ecologically and ethically sound.

              You’re new here. We’ve had these conversations many times before. It’s useful to take the time to get to know who you are arguing with.

              “Do you even live a plant based lifestyle?”

              Everyone lives a plant based lifestyle, there is no life without plants. But there are no plants without ecosystems, and ecosystems have animals living and dying/being killed in them.

              • Angel Fish

                @Weka
                “Before you start putting words in my mouth or misinterpreting what I think I suggest either doing some research on my position or asking me.”

                What position did I misinterpret? What words did I put into your mouth?
                Point them out or you are just full of it.
                But I am guessing, you are triggered over the zoo comments.
                This is what you said, “What’s the point of sanctuaries? We could just keep some of each species in a zoo. ” My point regarding your true motive was a simple deduction of that ill thought statement by you.

                “Ecological sanctuaries without intervention in nature is like putting the natives on the reservation but not allowing them sovereignty.”

                Cruelty to sentience takes precedence over issues of “sovereignty”.
                First time I’ve encountered that term when discussing ecological conservation. smh.

                “It’s also hugely problematic in terms of animal welfare and ecology, because nature works in systems.”

                The 80 or so successful projects so far suggests otherwise with regards to these animals.

                “I reckon you should just be honest and say that you think killing animals is wrong,”

                I don’t recall making that a secret.

                “so let those species go extinct in the wild, and we’ll preserve some of them over here.”

                Yes from an ethical and pragmatic point of view.
                What you are calling for on the other hand is an expensive fantasy.

                “My own position is that we need to practice conservation around whole ecosystems, not just species.”

                That is what the ecological sanctuaries are doing.
                They are not cages for a single animal.
                Follow your own advice and do some reading on the subject.

                “Not sure what you mean there tbh. ”

                You called for a bridging of the divisions or something like that.
                That’s called looking for a middle ground.

                “My lifestyle is to seek reduction of my ecological footprint. Eating meat isn’t inherently bad and I’ll take the wild rabbit I had for dinner over monstanto-monocropped, imported, industrially processed soy any day.”

                Your lifestyle is first and foremost inherently bad on ethical grounds, because you seek the killing of a sentient being.
                On environmental grounds, you killing the odd rabbit probably has no effect, but I suspect you do a lot more eating than the occasional rabbit you hunt.

                If you are concerned about extinctions, minimal effort would require only seeking your food through sustainable means.
                Pigs, Cows, Chicken are not sustainable and pose a huge cost to the environment. Then eating fish directly threaten ocean eco systems. etc.

                “You’re new here. We’ve had these conversations many times before. It’s useful to take the time to get to know who you are arguing with.”

                Let’s hear the full details of your life style.
                I am calling you out on your hubris over your supposed concern for ecologicial conservation.

                “Everyone lives a plant based lifestyle, there is no life without plants. But there are no plants without ecosystems, and ecosystems have animals living and dying/being killed in them.”

                Plant based specifically means a lifestyle sustained only by plant products. i.e. Doesn’t eat animals or animal derived products because of health or environmental reasons.

                A vegan on the other hand is someone who does the same as above but for ethical reasons.

                • weka

                  You said, “You are not concerned for their wellbeing, you are concerned that YOU won’t get to see them anymore.”

                  That’s not an accurate reflection of my views, you just made it up.

                  I don’t have to justify my lifestyle to you. There’s plenty on record of my views on fundamentalist veganism, you’re free to look it up.

                  The meat vs plant position you are arguing is old and boring and we’ve been over it many times before, I’m not getting into that again with someone who thinks they can misrepresent my views.

                  Killing rabbits to eat them is bad, but killing rabbits to grow soy isn’t. Fuck off.

                  • Angel Fish

                    “”You said, “You are not concerned for their wellbeing, you are concerned that YOU won’t get to see them anymore.”

                    That’s not an accurate reflection of my views, you just made it up.”

                    I deduced that from when you said the following, “What’s the point of sanctuaries? We could just keep some of each species in a zoo. ”.

                    “I don’t have to justify my lifestyle to you. There’s plenty on record of my views on fundamentalist veganism, you’re free to look it up.”

                    You would if you are serious about the topic.
                    If you actually care about the environment and other species at least to the extent of extinction, you would care to keep your lifestyle in support of such motives.
                    Otherwise you are just pretentious.

                    As for fundamentalist veganism, we are talking about Plant based lifestyle. i.e. Making consumer choices based on health or environmental reasons. In this case, you claim to be environmentally conscientious and I am questioning whether you really believe in that or whether you are being pretentious.
                    Judging by your hesitation to answer my questions, I assume that you don’t really care about the issue.

                    “The meat vs plant position you are arguing is old and boring and we’ve been over it many times before, I’m not getting into that again with someone who thinks they can misrepresent my views.”

                    I didn’t misrepresent anything.
                    I deduced aspects about yourself based on a remark you made about zoos and I questioned your commitment to conservation.
                    Stop playing a victim, it’s sad.

                    “Killing rabbits to eat them is bad, but killing rabbits to grow soy isn’t. Fuck off.”

                    First of all grow up and learn to converse like an adult.
                    Mods themselves have asked to not make it anti social.

                    And yes, crops like Soy aren’t perfect. The goal is to avoid unnecessary wrong doing or minimize wrong doing.
                    I personally don’t rely on soy for protein, I get it from beans.

                    Now if care to actually have a dialogue, then answer my questions about your lifestyle. You as someone who claims to be for the environment to such an extent as to call for the mass slaughtering pest animals; what are you then doing with your own lifestyle choices to fulfill your principles?

                    If you habitually consume products from industries that problematic to the environment, then your stance on the environment stands to be a pretentious one.

                    [I’m one of the mods. At this point I’d suggest you read the Policy and About – weka]

                  • weka

                    I deduced that from when you said the following, “What’s the point of sanctuaries? We could just keep some of each species in a zoo. ”.

                    Sure, and you were wrong, and when I said you were misrepresenting my views you argued with me instead of seeking clarification. That’s bad faith debating from my pov.

                    You would if you are serious about the topic.
                    If you actually care about the environment and other species at least to the extent of extinction, you would care to keep your lifestyle in support of such motives.
                    Otherwise you are just pretentious.

                    Lol, sweet, I can stop reading now, thanks (hint, sanctimonious lectures telling other people they have to adhere to your values generally don’t go down well here).

                    • Antoine

                      Admirable tolerance there Weka

                    • Angel Fish

                      “[I’m one of the mods. At this point I’d suggest you read the Policy and About – weka]”

                      You ask your readers to not be anti social and then you do something anti social. Maybe best you follow your own advice.

                      “Sure, and you were wrong, and when I said you were misrepresenting my views you argued with me instead of seeking clarification.”

                      I didn’t argue with you, I explained to you how I deduced your motives. Don’t get mad because I managed to corner you and expose your faulty reasoning.

                      “sanctimonious lectures telling other people they have to adhere to your values generally don’t go down well here”

                      That’s ironic coming from you!

                    • weka

                      Your deductions were false.

                      Read the Policy.

                  • Angel Fish

                    @Weka
                    “What’s the point of sanctuaries? We could just keep some of each species in a zoo.”

                    People typically keep animals in zoos for THEIR viewing pleasure.
                    So when you ask the above question regarding the use of sanctuaries, it is pretty easy to see that you only value these animals based on their rarity and your concern for not being able to see them again.
                    That isn’t an over reaching interpretation of what you said.

                    But whatever, moving on.

                    You claim,
                    “To get nutritional needs … and without fossil fuels, is very hard on a vegan diet… This is why no cultures on the planet have done it historically…”

                    Nomad cultures that lived along side the herd upon which they survived on could only support a small population. It’s only with the advent of agriculture that we begin to see large civilizations taking root and developing. So you are completely off on that claim, with regards to human history.

                    “Global demands for feeding people is an industrial globalisation mindset. Eat local, support local growers, support protection of local ecosystems (native, wild, gardened, farmed), those are things that induce sustainability.””

                    Ironically it’s here that your point of feeding individuals vs feeding generations come in to effect. What you are suggesting is not feasible for an entire population of a country to take part in.

                    • weka

                      No, when I made the comment about zoos, I was being sarcastic. Not that hard to understand if you listen to what I am saying over the whole thread and in the post.

                      Also, I’ve already told you you are wrong in your interpretation of my views. Multiple times. You appear to think you know better than I do about what I think. That’s disingenuous arguing.

                      So no, it’s not whatever, it’s me pointing out that if you want to talk with me you have to stop misrepresenting what I think.

                      The zoo comment was to point out that putting birds in sanctuaries and letting them go extinct in the wild is ethically and ecologically problematic.

                      “Nomad cultures that lived along side the herd upon which they survived on could only support a small population. It’s only with the advent of agriculture that we begin to see large civilizations taking root and developing. So you are completely off on that claim, with regards to human history.”

                      I’m not saying don’t eat plants. I’m saying don’t stop yourself from eating animals because someone is saying it’s bad for the environment. Whether what one eats is harming the environment has nothing to do with whether it’s plant or animal, but how it’s grown.

                      You appear to be arguing that the only way for people to eat is from industrial agriculture. Industrial agriculture is hugely damaging to the planet.

                      “Ironically it’s here that your point of feeding individuals vs feeding generations come in to effect. What you are suggesting is not feasible for an entire population of a country to take part in.”

                      Sure it is. Take any given watershed, design it sustainably and then match the population to what it can sustain. Sustainably design can be scaled up because of the way that it works with the landscape. As opposed to industrial ag which basically destroys the landscape including the fertility.

                      I think NZ is still in a position to do that. Other places in the world would find it harder, and I don’t have a problem with supporting those places in other ways while population stabilise. Mostly we have to dump the growth economy though and that includes not perpetually increasing the number of people.

                • shane

                  I think you need to clarify the difference between production farmed animals and sustainably farmed animals. There is a large difference if the produce created is from a locally available resource. Hence importation of grains etc from “ghost acres” around the world to support vegan lifestyles can also be viewed to be social, economically and environmentally problematic!

                  • weka

                    Yep. And that argument pretty quickly separates out the vegans that give a shit about the environment and the fundamentalist ones that believe that killing all animals is wrong and are using environmental arguments falsely.

                    • Angel Fish

                      @Weka
                      “the vegans that give a shit about the environment and the fundamentalist ones that believe that killing all animals is wrong and are using environmental arguments falsely.”

                      You don’t have a clue as to what a vegan is even after having explained it to you. Adopting a plant diet for environmental reasons, health or economy or anything unrelated to animal wellbeing is regarded as a plant based lifestyle. Adopting said lifestyle primarily for animal well being on the other hand is referred to as a vegan lifestyle.

                      Veganism is animal centric in motive, plant based is not.

                      As for faulty environmental arguments, you are just throwing empty accusations. If you cared for the environment, you would avoid unsustainable food sources. Most animal indsutries are unsustainable, especially the fisheries industries.

                    • weka

                      some people eat vegan for both reasons so not really sure what you are on about.

                      If you are arguing that avoiding eating all animals and animal products is useful to the environment, I’ll point you to the ecological impact of veganism.

                      If you are saying it’s ok to eat animals sustainably but it’s better in a context of a high plant diet, I would say sure, for many people that’s a good option and is better for the planet than what most industrialised culture people are doing. But eating local adds even more sustainability, and eating non-industrially. So again, I’ll take local, ethical, small grower meat over imported, mono cropped, monsantoed soy any time.

                      The animal/plant issue is irrelevant when it’s dogma. What matters is eating ethically/sustainable in your given locale. To use an extreme example, it would be stupid for instance to think that some one living traditionally in the arctic circle eating plant based is sustainable. Someone living on a farm is being more ecological to raise a few sheep and eat them than to import lentils from China.

                  • Angel Fish

                    There is no such thing as a sustainable farmed animal in the context of feeding the global demands, especially not when it comes to fishing. As for the vegan lifestyle being problematic, explain to me how eating animals is a solution to that? The amount of energy available decreases with increases to the food chain. So if you want to get the most energy for the smallest input, then you go straight to plant sources. This isn’t rocket science.

                    • weka

                      To get nutritional needs met over generations (not just individuals), and without fossil fuels, is very hard on a vegan diet (and yes, I do understand nutrition). This is why no cultures on the planet have done it historically, it’s just too hard.

                      Global demands for feeding people is an industrial globalisation mindset. Eat local, support local growers, support protection of local ecosystems (native, wild, gardened, farmed), those are things that induce sustainability.

    • Rat’s can’t be beat, in my opinion.

      Mine too. Same goes for mice. That’s what made me scornful of National’s “predator-free” announcement – no rats in NZ? Why not promise everyone a unicorn while they were at it?

      • weka 1.2.1

        I like working it through though. Once we get to the rats in the cities, are we all going to have bait stations in our backyard?

        It’s an idiocy, and if the PR hadn’t been so stupid and dishonest, a year on we would all be clear that predator-free will only come about with future science that isn’t currently on the horizon. And that would have to be developed for multiple species at a time (I suspect that taking out the rats without taking out the stoats is a problem).

        Instead we could be getting on with people desiring programmes that will limit unwanted species to enough of an extent that native species can start to thrive again. That would have been awesome.

        • Psycho Milt 1.2.1.1

          I’m hopeful that under this government it can transition from a PR exercise into something useful. Eradication may be implausible, but as you say it isn’t implausible to aim for limiting introduced-predator numbers sufficiently to enable native species to thrive.

          • weka 1.2.1.1.1

            Yes, and I think that’s what most people actually in the sector will be thinking (although many are still waiting for the silver bullet too).

    • Jim Baltaxe 1.3

      And who or what will control the New Guinean eagle? The vast majority of threats to biodiversity in NZ bush are from introduced species, most of which were introduced for “good ecological and economic” reasons. Before anything else is introduced we need to know how its impact on the environment will be controlled and limited.

  2. Ad 2

    It’s no longer useful to quote Green Party policy.

    We have a government, so we require government policy.
    The objectives of that policy have to be an operational summary of all instruments available, not just one.

    The Greens are well on record stating that they will fully fund Predator Free 2050 via a $20 levy on international tourists.

    Now I want to see the actual cabinet-approved plan.

    And then deliver it.

    • weka 2.1

      The post was written for the people that think the Greens want 1080 used without regard for the other issues. I just wanted to clear up that the Greens actually want to reduce poison use and develop other methods. So it’s useful to quote policy because so many people seem unaware of what their policy is.

      Predator-free by 2050 is a nonsense without scientists developing ways of taking out multiple whole species. If you look back you will see that conservationists said this at the time and were initially critical. Of course everyone was going to get on board with it, it had serious PR behind it, and that includes political parties. Support would have also been tied in with funding. But it’s more a tool for gaining funding and promoting initiatives than it is something real. I’ve not seen a credible person saying that it is achievable without those science advances i.e. with the tech we have currently and that is coming online it’s not going to happen.

      We can of course control predator numbers and remove them entirely in specific situations e.g. sanctuaries.

      “The Greens are well on record stating that they will fully fund Predator Free 2050 via a $20 levy on international tourists.”

      Yes, from memory National’s plan was woefully undercosted.

      • Southern Man 2.1.1

        If National had really been serious about predator control, they would have made Steven Joyce the Minister FOR Possums.

      • Ad 2.1.2

        Predator Free 2050 is “more a tool for gaining funding and promoting initiatives than it is something real.”

        If you really think the new Green Party Minister of Conservation is being that cynical, you need to stop beating around the bush and do a post on the Predator Free 2050 policy instead of docking around at the edges.

        If you do, all those like me who support it and work for it can then join in.

        I am less interested in defending 1080 against your mirage of extremists, than seeing the actual cabinet approved plan, together with budget funding in May 2018.
        Then we can all see the results that the Green Minister will be held accountable to.

        • weka 2.1.2.1

          I don’t think the Greens are being cynical at all, I think they are being pragmatic and working collaboratively with a range of people who have various views. That’s how they roll.

          I myself am highly cynical of what National did. I don’t feel a need to support that, but I do want to find ways to bridge the gap between a number areas that are currently a problem. I don’t think writing off people who want to reduce poison use is going to help conservation.

          I wrote this post because I see too many people misrepresenting GP policy. That’s relevant for govt in what I would have thought were self-evident ways.

          Write your own post if something here is bothering you so much (not sure what your problem is tbh).

      • JC 2.1.3

        Hey Weka, Yes Predator Free NZ is a Nonsense! Totally underfunded! And a Wank! (as it is)

        But, like going to the Moon, (or Mars), or cleaning up Dairy …possibly achievable by 2050 if people are prepared to actually consider alternatives…. take a hit for a greater gain!

        1080 is just one of the tools in the Box. Not ideal, (at all), but I’m not aware of any alternatives currently! Buy some time for many of our threatened, and endemic species! While it’s still possible! And until we can come up with a better solution!

        Disclaimer: I have been actively involved in Conservation Mng for most of 3 decades. Working at the forefront of Conservation Management Including Island eradications both onshore, and off shore islands in the Southern Ocean.

        Unfortunately I’ve observed, and/or been aware off, declines or demise off entire ecosystems, and numerous endemic species both on the mainland, and offshore during that time..

        Fortunately I’ve been privileged to see some of the benefits of targeted “pest” or predator control. There have been huge gains!

        Unbelievable even!

        Not just in fauna, or ecosystem health. But also understanding and community wellbeing, i.e. , Mana of Rakiura maori et al, i.e. Island restorations, Whenua hou, Taukiahepa,(Big South Cape), Putahinau, and many others ….

        Believe me. If there was a better way … it would be done!

        All be it a different toxin was part of the formula ..

      • Gorge Us 2.1.4

        Weka, your comment ‘Predator-free by 2050 is a nonsense without scientists developing ways of taking out multiple whole species.’ There are already suburbs that are predator free, using as their main method the classic wooden based ‘Victor’ rat trap, in a box. 1080 targets multiple predator species at once, one of many very good reasons that it is used. A 20,000Ha methodology trial is underway in South Westland at present. People searching the ground for weeks after the drop have yet to find a rat or stoat. Scientists have developed ways of taking out multiple whole species of mammal. And we have refined that with sixty years of field experience. Scale is the key, as Jan Wright pointed out. Your anti-1080 campaigner these days still alleges witnessing by-kill. Oddly, they don’t produce photographic evidence. The Southern Lakes Deerstalkers searched an operational area last year for evidence of harm. They found a rat I think, and later a dead deer, but not it seems from 1080. No Kiwi these days are affected by 1080, in spite of repeated false claims by one Mr Clyde Graf, ex bank robber and reprimanded regional councillor, who keeps seeking information from DOC using OIR’s, and completely distorting and misrepresenting the information he is supplied to try and say they have. The anti 1080 movement is a small minority of the population driven by an even smaller group of motivated liars at the core.

    • Matthew Whitehead 2.2

      Have you read the confidence and supply agreement? Because it looks a lot like we’ll be getting something resembling the GP policy in this area.

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    “The Greens are well on record stating that they will fully fund Predator Free 2050 via a $20 levy on international tourists.”
    If they did, I wish they hadn’t. Nevertheless, what you say is correct, Ad;
    “We have a government, so we require government policy.”
    I disagree with the “exterminate” approach, but it’s a long game and we humans have been tormenting our fellow creatures for a very long time now. The rats will absorb and out-last our attacks. Possums can’t though, so there’s a chance there. Poisoning mammals though; it’s close to the heart, isn’t it.

    • Ad 3.1

      From Forest and Bird magazine Spring 2017, electoral profile summary of all parties, Mojo Mathers states:

      “We will properly fund Predator Free 2050 via a $20 levy on international tourists.”

      Up to the Minister of Conservation in this government to achieve that.

  4. mickysavage 4

    Tough issue. I am coming around to cautious support of 1080.

    One of the reasons is out west the Council’s survey on the spread of kauri dieback shows significant infection along bait lines. Good people wanting to do something about the health of the forest are unfortunately spreading the Phytophthora that causes the condition around.

    If you want to have a really grunty warts and all analysis of the use of 1080 then I recommend the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report.

    http://www.pce.parliament.nz/media/1294/evaluating-the-use-of-1080.pdf

    • weka 4.2

      By support do you mean that you are ok with 1080 being widely used for the next say 200 years?

      “Good people wanting to do something about the health of the forest are unfortunately spreading the Phytophthora that causes the condition around.”

      Volunteers? Doc? F and B?

      Is there a way to prevent that? e.g. what the spread by people who were unaware of the issue and the need to prevent it?

      • Graeme 4.2.1

        It will be similar to the arrival of dothistroma into New Zealand.

        http://www.nzffa.org.nz/farm-forestry-model/the-essentials/forest-health-pests-and-diseases/diseases/Needle-diseases/Dothistroma
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dothistroma_septosporum

        It arrived here in the boots of a Forest Service forester who had been to USA to observe the effects of it’s arrival there. There was a report circulated in 70’s for information / interest / bio-security showing aerial photos of recently affected compartments juxtaposed with his dairy entries. The paths his boots took through the compartments were clearly evident in the dothistroma infestation of the canopy and exactly matched the dairy notes.

      • mickysavage 4.2.2

        Hey Weka

        By support do you mean that you are ok with 1080 being widely used for the next say 200 years?

        Nope I naturally prefer minimum use away from humans and water courses.

        “Good people wanting to do something about the health of the forest are unfortunately spreading the Phytophthora that causes the condition around.”

        Volunteers? Doc? F and B?

        All sorts. I am not blaming any group in particular, it is just that the Council review identified bait lines for pest management as a significant vector for the spread of the disease.

        • weka 4.2.2.1

          I’m guessing that’s before they knew what was really going on? It’s not an issue down south so I haven’t had to think about it, but if it’s the soil on boots that is the issue there are some easy and obvious solutions to that.

          • shane 4.2.2.1.1

            Yes its great to start an industry around Kauri Dieback which has been here some time already and transported unaware now awaiting opportunity to expose itself. Transported by machinery, human feet and tools, pigs and possibly wasps if its about the soil……for possibly 30 years?
            Is it not wiser to look at growing thousands of kauri trees then plant them all around N.Z and work with the odds of finding stronger genetics’. Kauri is a national treasure but is only a small contributor to our national diversity let alone canopy in the forest.

  5. Sanctuary 5

    The fanaticism of the anti-1080 people marks them humans who fall into that same category of humanity as inhabited by anti-vaxers, Trump supporters and people who think 9/11 was an inside job – that is, paranoid idiots who display a spectacular inability to sift, collate and rationally assess information.

    These are people who think a web site with an anti-1080 rant filled with dubious anecdotes and punctuated with grammatical and spelling errors from “Mad Billy of Kawhia” constitutes valuable primary evidence that counters any amount of patient, statistic filled explanation from actual scientific experts who have dedicated their lives to pest control and understanding the interaction of 1080 with the environment.

    At the end of the day, the only way to treat anti-1080 campaigners is to ignore them, and put them in prison when they attempt to sabotage poison drops. We owe our native birds nothing less.

    • weka 5.1

      that nativists and the ‘1080 has no downside’ groups are just bad in terms of polarising the arguments and entrenching ideologies.

      Lots of people want to restrict 1080 use, even within groups of people doing predator control, and have reasonable grounds for doing so. This is a broader number than those who are totally opposed to any use.

      • Sanctuary 5.1.1

        “…that nativists and the ‘1080 has no downside’ groups are just bad…”

        False equivalence is the mother of fake news.

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          No idea what that means. You ranted against the hard-core anti-1080 crowd, I pointed out that there are problems on all sides. It’s relevant because of what I wrote at the end of the post.

    • DH 5.2

      Seems to me it’s not just the anti-1080 people who are fanatics. 1080 has proven to have an obvious flaw. It doesn’t eradicate pests. Despite that indisputable truth people keep staunchly (fanatically) promoting its use.

      At some point in time I think it reasonable to expect people to admit their idea isn’t working and to then start looking for alternatives. The 1080 mob appear to take a TINA approach and I think we’ve progressed enough to look harder for other options which are potentially less damaging while also being at least as effective.

      • weka 5.2.1

        1080 use is very effective at preservation of native species though. That’s why it’s being used.

        I don’t like the PR on all sides, and DOC certainly have their fair share of responsibility in this. But the point of 1080 isn’t to eradicate pests except where they can also be controlled in other ways e.g. access to islands. The point of 1080 is to prevent populations going extinct locally and nationally. I don’t think there is any doubt that that works. I don’t like it nor the extent to which it is being used, and want NZ to look at other ways, but saying 1080 doesn’t work is really unhelpful and just polarises the subject.

        National’s Predator Free thing is a huge problem in terms of clarity of the situation and what can be done. We can’t rid NZ of those predators by 1080 alone, or trapping etc. Anyone who thinks we can doesn’t understand much about where those animals are on the ground and what is needed to control them.

        • DH 5.2.1.1

          “1080 use is very effective at preservation of native species though”

          Are you sure about that? My understanding it’s a bit of an indiscriminate killer and the recovery (preservation) of native species is due to pest control.

          My point was that 1080 is only good at controlling pests. It doesn’t eradicate them. If people were to be more upfront in admitting that 1080 can’t eradicate pests then they might start looking for better ways of controlling pests.

          • weka 5.2.1.1.1

            I agree with your last paragraph. The framing being used is highly problematic and contributing to the polarisation. Lots of authoritarianism in that too.

            1080 is effective at preserving native species for now. Yes, it kills native species when dropped. But those species increase in the following years because their predators are not in such high numbers. I’m still somewhat sceptical of how effective the current approach will be over the very long term, but in the short term (e.g. over a number of years) it appears to work.

            Re long term 1080 use, one either needs to believe that it can be used indefinitely, or that there will be science advances that will take out whole species (e.g. making possums infertile). I think neither of those things is likely/viable, and they both fail in terms of sustainability.

            • DH 5.2.1.1.1.1

              We’re pretty much on the same page there. It is the framing and attitude which I think needs readjusting.

              My vista is that the native species can survive, or thrive, when the pest population is below a certain level. 1080 achieves that by killing a higher proportion of the pests than it kills the native species. That’s not really a very satisfactory long term approach though, we all know the pests recover and the cycle begins again.

              That’s not a cure, it’s a treatment, and I’m quite sure there are better ways to do achieve that goal if people were stop thinking they can completely eradicate pests.

              • weka

                I agree on all that 🙂 I like the cure vs treatment analogy too. What are we trying to remedy? When we think the problem is the unwanted species, we lose sight of the fact that what we really want is healthy native ecosystems. Reframing those things is hard work currently. My biggest hope comes from knowing there are people doing control on the ground who want to use less poison.

                • DH

                  Yes. The other issue that needs addressing is money. I can’t see DOC workers being happy about mass poisoning, I suspect many see it as the least unfavourable option and use it grudgingly. DOC are badly underfunded and I’d surmise an honest truth is they use 1080 largely because it provides the best bang for a buck.

                  • weka

                    I’m not sure about DOC, there seems to be a big ideological commitment to it at all levels, but it’s possible that some people don’t feel free to speak out too. I was thinking of non-DOC ground crews.

                    Yes, funding, but also models of how to approach this synergistically. Merge conservation, land restoration, climate change, regional development, and employment creation issues, throw in some union support (so no ‘work for the dole or we’ll force poverty on you’ schemes), and then we have other ways to fund.

              • JC

                Got a Better Answer!

          • Janet 5.2.1.1.2

            And there is concern that it is causing sterility in native species .. case in point the Kea –

            • weka 5.2.1.1.2.1

              1080 use? Can you please link to something on that?

              • Janet

                Not, immediately but can come back on that one later in the day.

              • Janet

                http://newzealandecology.org/nzje/2968.pdf
                Check the references on the bottom, interesting reading from a noted N.Z 1080 scientist.
                Epa have it mentioned within their report hence the comment ” use only as last alternative” Australian Govt research institute 1990’s did the studies on Lizards 9 of 11 became sterile. DOC lizard assessment described lizards eating insects and secondary poisoning or chronic impairments inclusive of reproduction,

                More to come maybe this evening.
                Sorry having to dovetail around a very busy work schedule.

                • Andre

                  Can you be a bit more specific on where that article talks about sterility? I didn’t see it, and the general tone of it suggests that 1080 has very little impact on non-target species when used according to modern refined techniques.

                • Janet

                  See Shanes comment below for more info

              • Janet

                http://newzealandecology.org/nzje/2968.pdf
                Check the references on the bottom, interesting reading from a noted N.Z 1080 scientist.
                Epa have it mentioned within their report hence the comment ” use only as last alternative” Australian Govt research institute 1990’s did the studies on Lizards 9 of 11 became sterile. DOC lizard assessment described lizards eating insects and secondary poisoning or chronic impairments inclusive of reproduction,

                More to come maybe this evening.
                Sorry having to dovetail around a very busy work schedule.

            • Keepcalmcarryon 5.2.1.1.2.2

              Kea are a real concern with 1080 poison. Outside the DOC spin, their own people aren’t sure it’s beneficial to them due to high mortality and slow breeding.
              Aerial poison is dropped over a great deal of their natural range in the South Island.
              http://i.stuff.co.nz/environment/82491117/benefits-to-kea-from-1080-operations-uncertain
              ( not related to any claims of reproductive issues)

              • weka

                Thanks for that.

                “However, kea deaths in one area could be off-set by population gains in others, they said.”

                Yes, that’s the mechanistic approach to conservation. However species drop affects the local ecosystem, but while stopping kea from going extinct is a good plan, we can do much better than doing that at the expense of nature in general.

              • Heef

                Trap lines are not the solution to protecting Kea either, as there’s certainly incidents of Kea getting into DOC200 traps and either setting them off for fun, or getting killed by those traps.

            • JC 5.2.1.1.2.3

              Link???

          • Psycho Milt 5.2.1.1.3

            If people were to be more upfront in admitting that 1080 can’t eradicate pests then they might start looking for better ways of controlling pests.

            Is anyone claiming 1080 can eradicate pest species? It seems pretty obvious that it can’t, and I don’t recall anyone trying to claim otherwise. I’ve only seen it presented as a means of lowering introduced-predator numbers so that native species hold out a bit longer.

            • weka 5.2.1.1.3.1

              I think the way the PR has been done has been confusing on this issue.

            • JC 5.2.1.1.3.2

              Yep. One of the tools in the Toolbox …. For now,because without NZ Flora/Fauna/Ecosystems are Munted!

              Appreciate it if you have an Alternative …

        • JC 5.2.1.2

          To add to the discussion… that is, if people are prepared to read it …

          https://www.sciencemediacentre.co.nz/2014/12/05/nz-birds-and-1080-3rd-degree/

          • weka 5.2.1.2.1

            Care to give a synopsis or intro?

            • JC 5.2.1.2.1.1

              “We conclude that unless the predators can be eradicated from at least one of the
              inhabited islands in Table 3 then the wider PFNZ2050 is not
              a vision but a mirage that will divert resources from better strategies to manage mammal pests on the main islands of New Zealand (Parkes et al. 2017).”{

              http://newzealandecology.org/nzje/3308.pdf

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                The fact that PFNZ2050 is a “mirage” (or more accurately, yet another National Party authored cynical lie) will come as no surprise to most readers.

                The fact is, every single decision made over the last nine years is suspect and must be revisited, with a fair few (eg: MBIE, RONS, Charter Privatisation, Notional Standards) simply rescinded with extreme prejudice.

                The goal of PFNZ is worth pursuing, but that’s probably the only thing of value it contains.

    • Gorge Us 5.3

      A very good summary of the situation there Sanctuary. But to be a little clearer, there are no doubt a number of people of more intelligence and compassion whose unease about the use of 1080 relates to a genuine concern around the humaneness of the toxin. The type of fanatic you describe might claim such concern, but more often than not will be a hunter or trapper or both, and with a penchant for fishing. 1080 has been investigated and is rated as ‘moderately humane’ in action, which essentially slows the cellular energy production, producing torpor and eventually death. It is considered that the mammal loses consciousness before the end of the process. People claiming to be concerned about humaneness seem to not be concerned at the horrific deaths brought upon the victims of the predatory mammals, or the inevitability of more extinctions should 1080 be banned. Yes, everyone should read the 2011 report from the PCE on the subject, and the recent Taonga Species one. Anti-1080 campaigners should be ignored by everyone, but won’t be, and have a detrimental effect on people’s sense of security and wellbeing. They certainly need to be prosecuted with the full effect of the law when they commit sabotage and assaults, I think there is room for charges of criminal nuisance when they fear monger with baseless public assertions, such as recently in Whitianga, that there was 1080 in the town water supply. Hard to just ignore that sort of behaviour. 1080 is almost perfect for what we need it to do, it is safe in current practice, and GPS technology has boosted accuracy and effectiveness. It can target ship rats who never leave the canopy, no other measures can. It will be used for the foreseeable future, and on a broader scale. There is every reason to do so, and none not to, so the ignorant better get themselves educated, and spend their energies on something more productive than sabotage and ‘alternative’ facts.

    • Angel Fish 5.4

      @Sanctuary
      “The fanaticism of the anti-1080 people marks them humans who fall into that same category of humanity as inhabited by anti-vaxers, Trump supporters and people who think 9/11 was an inside job – that is, paranoid idiots who display a spectacular inability to sift, collate and rationally assess information.

      These are people who think a web site with an anti-1080 rant filled with dubious anecdotes and punctuated with grammatical and spelling errors from “Mad Billy of Kawhia” constitutes valuable primary evidence that counters any amount of patient, statistic filled explanation from actual scientific experts who have dedicated their lives to pest control and understanding the interaction of 1080 with the environment.

      At the end of the day, the only way to treat anti-1080 campaigners is to ignore them, and put them in prison when they attempt to sabotage poison drops. We owe our native birds nothing less.”

      The barbarism and stupidity of 1080 fanatics is so great that it doesn’t occur to them
      that some oppose it’s use for ethical reasons!
      There’s only one way to treat psychopaths like that, put them in prison for inflicting animal cruelty! We owe other sentient lives nothing less!

      Insults can go both ways!

      Here’s the thing if you are actually going to be concerned about extinctions of animals, then at least be smart about it and change your lifestyle to plant based lifestyle. You care about extinctions, but have no issue with threatening oceanic eco systems with your fish eating? And what about threatening species globally by consuming steaks, beacon and eggs? LOL.

  6. One Anonymous Bloke 6

    I disagree with their statement that poison use is decreasing

    DOC cites The Brushtail Possum for this statistic.

    The book costs $59.95. I think we can be reasonably confident DOC aren’t lying without forking out for it*.

    What’s the source of your disagreement?

    *If they are, James Shaw as MoS will soon sort them out 🙂

    • weka 6.1

      I was referring to overall poison use, and where it is being used.

      Re 1080, less bait per ha is used but are more hectares being covered?

      “*If they are, James Shaw as MoS will soon sort them out”

      One of the problems in the debate is that there has been let’s say problematic use of information on all sides 😉 We’d have less of a problem with anti-1080 if DOC hasn’t tried to PR it’s way through in the early days. There are ideological divides here that need bridging, and stats alone won’t do it.

      • Janet 6.1.1

        James Shaw is realistic but he needs to be aware that there are a number of simple problems interfering with effective predator control that could be addressed now .
        1/for every man on the ground there are 5 in offices “analysing! “ The men on the ground rarely get full time or regular work out of the possum control contracts.
        2/ There are excellent alternative ways of efficiently , safely and very effectively poisioning predators now but they are slow in coming to fruition due to something as usual and simple as the inventors being cash strapped. $12 million was dropped on one group of academics , but none on anyone else!
        3/ Simple ill-considered DOC restraints mean sometime these systems cannot reach their full potential. Eg: With one very efficient developing system rats need to be targeted initially because they disrupt the possum poisoning. You would think that that would be a plus ,getting rid of the rats then the possums, but no DOC can,t adapt to letting out a contract that covers rat and possums being eradicated at the same time.
        So a lot of inclusive colaboration to find out just how much is out there that works well but needs encouraging to develop further would be a very good first step towards 1080 being binned.

        • weka 6.1.1.1

          it would probably be useful to have people who do work on the ground involved in programme designs as well as bigger picture planning. I also get the sense that much of what we see now is designed by people who don’t spend that much time in the bush. The science is important and so is the experience.

          • Janet 6.1.1.1.1

            Someone mentioned 18 yrs olds conscripted to pest eradiction service I think graduates who want to work in the area of conservation should be required to do 3 solid years on the ground. I get many international graduates passing through my house as wwoofers who are dreamily thinking of working with something enviromental in the future.Practically they know nothing and most of ours will be the same yet they end up in positions of control in our DOC etc.

            • weka 6.1.1.1.1.1

              The grads idea is great.

              Not keen on conscription (you end up with people unsuited to the work doing it badly and being unhappy). But we could have schemes that were attractive to people to do that work. I know people that would love to spend time in the bush if they could make a living at it.

              • Janet

                The men on the ground rarely get full time or regular work out of the possum control contracts. Often the contractors of the block also lose financially. This needs addressing as it is really not a socially acceptable situation when in fact it could be.

                • Antoine

                  > The men on the ground rarely get full time or regular work out of the possum control contracts.

                  Is this because airdropping 1080 is more cost effective?

                  A.

                  • weka

                    Only in a neoliberal sense. Try factoring in climate change costs and see how you get on. Then loss of local employment and small busiensess and local economy. Not looking so flash now.

                    • shane

                      apples with apples comparison’s are rare with discussion suggesting cost effectiveness…… to place value on the individuals you wish to save and protect so you can account for the ones unintentional killed, Then the same economic expectations and risk accountability need apply, The same operational size boundary length and ecosystem type complete with seasonal delivery period. Finally an account for actual animals killed in the operation and realistic assessment of what remains with separation from that of re invasion….. It was mentioned to me aerial 1080 has a considered active life after delivery of 3 days, ground control may offer 8 weeks regardless of weather…..

                  • Janet

                    No , DOC is cash strapped

                    • cleangreen

                      Janet you are so right, “DOC is cash strapped”

                      We have been flogged to death now for the last several years with steep increases on leasing a 12 acre swamp land, with fences in disarray so we needed to fix them but DOC still keep raising the lease all the time.

                      Soon we wont be able to afford the lease as the land is useless to work and DOC willl then loose our cash and not be avble to lease to anyone else for the steep cost they have set for us now.

                      12 arces of very isolated 70kms from nearst town with no buildings or power.

                      Comes with a soogy swamp and two thirds of the fences delapidated and stuffed???

                      Lease now costs over two thousand dollars a year now, so any takers?

                      Elevation 1650 ft above sea level.

                      Last leasee under the last labour government used to pay three hundred a year.

              • Matthew Whitehead

                I would probably go on such a scheme myself, if perhaps purely for the experience of it.

                • Pig hunters are onto it for their prey – dogs and a knife.

                  Possums rats mustalids being trapped is a bit like what my old dairy farmer boss said to me once about dairy – it’s a factory mate, just outside.

                  Anyway it will take more than a few to move out of the comfort zone to get the job done so onya.

  7. Tough issue indeed.

    Fact is the endemic birds may not make it.
    Introduced mammals will continue to eat and introducing more to kill them will not work. The mustalids were introduced to kill the rabbits and for a bit of fur. Didn’t work, will never work.

    My whānau have been and still are possum hunters down south – bloody hard work. Takes a certain lover of hard work and bush living to do it.

    Poison? Not going to work either imo. Can make a difference and I’ve seen the birds come back but unless we move that factory that produces it over here it hasn’t got a long term viability imo.

    Edit. It may be as Robert says we actually have to stop trying to get the water to flow uphill and embrace our utter foolishness in introducing the mammals and accept the reality. I don’t want to with every fibre of my being but my head is sore from hitting it against the brick wall and I see cc storm clouds on the horizon.
    Therefore I agree mostly with the Green policy.

    • weka 7.1

      Re that last bit, from a sustainability design perspective we’d have a national approach that was based on locally designed solutions. So I could for instance imagine the Otago Peninsula being reforested and managed with no or very low level unwanted species (you’d need to place a predator proof fence at the Dndn end, and design a way for humans to cross it without allowing animals to). This then becomes a reservoir for the wider area, which has higher but still controlled numbers of unwanted species. That wider area still needs to restore habitats too.

      In that situation I see no need for 1080 or Papua New Guinean eagle. A national strategy for fur and pet food market would enable teams to manage such areas over time e.g. there would be a high need on the Otago Peninsula initially but it would drop over time.

      I can’t imagine that happening in somewhere like Canterbury as a whole, though. There are probably places were different levels can be achieved, and that needs local design, not a top down strategy from Wellington.

      In that sense I see Robert’s position as problematic in the same way that DOC’s is. There is no one size fits all. Even with the power down, those sustainability designs will serve us e.g. possums become a useful source of meat, fur and fertiliser where the numbers are not able to be drastically reduced.

      So I don’t see a reason to give up. I think it looks impossible when we are too high up looking at the country as a whole, but when we break it down into our rohe or watersheds or whatever other natural geography works for the design, then it seems more manageable.

      • marty mars 7.1.1

        Good pojnts. Here in between Able Tasman and Kahurangi Natonal Parks it IS like wow – how am i going to eat this elephant. The top of Kahurangi here is rugged hard core mountains and bush. poison seems like the only way – cant send inexperienced bodies in there, just wouldn’t work. I think localised solutions are definately the way to go. And giving locals the money and resources to do the job. Runs into a few issues – the horror of the bunny hunt in central Otago or introduction of myxomotosis and so on. Might have to sacrifice some tourists to get the job done.

        • weka 7.1.1.1

          The thing about the animal welfare issues that interests me is those values which say it’s wrong for humans to kill other animals but it’s ok for humans to stand by and let whole species be wiped out by other species that we introduced into the situation.

          I get the permaculture-esque arguments for working with nature as it is now, but I find the idea that humans have no business actively taking part in the food chain disturbing because there is literally no way we can not be part of the food chain and we have a lot of amends to make for both our active participation and our pretence that we’re somehow separate from it.

          Myxomotosis is fairly evil. The bunny hunt I have much less of a problem with because I see the way that rabbits keep Central in its state of degradation. I’d have almost no problem with it if the rabbits were being harvested rather than just slaughtered, and their whole bodies made use of, and if the land they were impacting was being cared for well by humans. So many payers of problems here.

          Other than how wastefully we do it, my main problem with killing animals is that many of the people who are best suited to it are the ones most likely to not care about the experience of the animal. I’m not sure what to do about that. I suspect it’s a socialised thing rather than something inherent in humans.

          (btw, I have no problem with people choosing to be vegetarian or vegan 🙂 )

          • marty mars 7.1.1.1.1

            Yes again good points. Humans everywhere make arbitrary distinctions about food and non food animals, it seems to be a cultural construct and fair enough. I don’t want species to die and yet we have fucked them up and they indeed might die whether we kill their predators or not because as you have pointed out habitat destruction is a major contributor to that, let alone the effects of cc. The problems have mostly occured because humans have introduced species or favoured species and really poked our noses in. I just cannot see solutions coming from the same methodology. We just don’t understand the depth of the interconnectedness of species, we are still woefully ignorant and our solutions often make things much worse in an ecosystem point of view. Just think about the advocates of GE solutions.
            Edit cos of phone.
            If a decision is made to kill an animal then what happens after it is dead is not the main thing for me. If I shoot a possum, which I sometimes do, I’m not going to eat it or use it for a hat. I think the ‘full use of a dead animal’ is not necessarily important except for the practical needs or pragmatism.

            • weka 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I like to close the loops. If we have thousands of rabbit bodies from the Easter hunt then build compost from them and use that to plant trees. It honours the animal that dies, helps restore the ecosystem, and it keeps humans more connected into the cycles of life rather than our slash and burn, ‘we’re exempt from nature’ mentality.

              “I just cannot see solutions coming from the same methodology.”

              That’s the biggie for me, which is why I want the nativists, conservationists permaculturists, hunters, recreationalists, animal welfare people etc to come together and learn how to talk with each other.

              • Just to clarify – for me I create honour for the animal at death and by not eating it. It resonates for me with my understanding of the past. I just cant eat meat anymore and that is just the way it is for me even though just about everyone I love does and my cousins cannot get their head around the fact that I cannot.

                Compost the bodies, complete the cycle yes I agree and even if we did nothing that would happen within our closed earthly system.

                I remember taking tourists out farewell spit and we’d stop and visit the decomposing whales with their smell and flies – it seemed important to show people the cycle in action and it also seemed respectful to the whales, the humans and Papatūānuku.

                • weka

                  That makes a lot of sense. I don’t think animals have to be eaten to be honoured, but for those that eat meat it can be useful to relate with the animal that way.

                  What I notice is many of the mainly men who are involved in killing animals treat it as sport (e.g. the rabbit hunt), and I think having cultural practices that encourage them to think about nature and their place in it is useful. On so many levels, lol.

                  Glad to hear the whale story.

              • JC

                Another era …

                ‘‘For much of our history, man and rabbit have been both foes and friends; foes in the paddock and friends in the skinning shed. We have forgotten much of the story. This is it.’’

                http://www.southlandexpress.co.nz/our-community/nz-rabbit-history-revealed/

                https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/central-otago/ferreting-out-rabbits-seen-%E2%80%98win-win%E2%80%99

                Great if you can close the loops … and am in agreement to be a joiner. Not a splitter!

    • Sanctuary 7.2

      I do my bit, I am fascinated by primitive technology so I started using a Paiute deadfall trap from my favourite guy on youtube for this sort of stuff (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89GNUnn-8KQ) around the house, and my word that thing does the business with rats and mice!

      Now I’ve got an A12 trap, and I got a possum the other week so i am happy with that so far.

  8. I don’t believe that it’s possible to eradicate all predators in NZ, and have increasing concerns about the ideological stances that are being taken without thought for the realities on the ground. I also don’t think we should be using 1080 willy nilly until science gives us some mythical new tech to wipe out all the possums, rats, stoats, weasels, mice, cats, hedgehogs, magpies, and so on. From an ecological position we need to use the least impactful processes possible, and from a sustainability position we need to create predator control systems that will last over time.

    This mostly matches my own thoughts on the subject, except that I’m looking on 1080 as the current least-worst method of controlling introduced-predator numbers so am happy to see plenty of it as long as we’re also looking for a better least-worst option. It sounds like the Greens will ensure we are doing that looking.

    This bit annoys me though:

    The Green Party aspires to see indigenous biodiversity and farm animal health maintained and enhanced, and eradication and control of pest animals achieved with minimal use of poisons, and without the use of genetically modified organisms. [my emphasis]

    So, we want to come up with better ways of eradicating or controlling introduced predators, but let’s just reject out of hand one of the more promising tools because magic woo. On the subject I still find Green policy unsatisfactory.

    • weka 8.1

      The *widespread use of 1080 is largely economic. It’s being used lots of places where there are alternatives e.g. on easily accessible farmland. I can make an argument for its use in certain very difficult to access terrain, but the only reason I can see for not decreasing its use in many areas is funding. This doesn’t mean we have no alternative, it means that ideologies are keeping us hooked on one way of doing things.

    • Sanctuary 8.2

      “…I don’t believe that it’s possible to eradicate all predators in NZ, and have increasing concerns about the ideological stances that are being taken without thought for the realities on the ground…”

      The predator free NZ thing was a typical John Key gimmick. Which isn’t to say that you couldn’t make NZ predator free – it is just we’d need a debate about the cost of doing so. After all, to go to war with rodents would imply we need to mobilise significant resources to secure victory – and maintain the following outcome, just as you would in any war.

      If we REALLY want to get rid of predators, then let’s set up 18 months of compulsory service in a conservation army for all 18 year olds, train them how to kill unapproved living organisms with the efficiency of German railway clerks, then rappel them into remote locations and parachute them onto far flung islands to wage war. We’d have to lavishly equip these newly formed brigades and divisions of eco-warriors with poison, traps, helicopters, clothing and all the rest of the panolpy required for their war and fund it all to final victory.

      OK< so I am being a bit tongue in cheek – but I think we need a reality check on the scale of the task if we really want to be predator free. Personally, I would support the cost – wouldn't it be wonderful to have Kiwi wandering around our urban parks, lost in bad tempered thought, Kokako serenading suburban shoppers and impassive Kereru so numerous no one even noticed their whirring flight?

      On the other hand, James Cook complained the morning chorus in Fiordland was so loud that no one could get a decent kip. Imagine having a 100 Tuis outside your house when you’ve got a hangover…

  9. Dave Hansford 9

    “Environment policy aims to minimise the use of all persistent, environmentally damaging, or non-sustainably produced poisons.” I would just point out that it’s debatable whether 1080 can be called “persistent”. Being a salt, it’s highly soluble in water, so It dilutes and biodegrades in a matter of hours in water warmer than about 10 degrees – days in colder water.

    Animals from mammals to birds to eels and koura have been shown to metabolise and excrete 1080 from living tissue in less than a week. Where it probably is fair to call 1080 persistent is in dead carcasses, and especially bone marrow, where doses still lethal to dogs have been found three months after death.

    All this only highlights the difficulty of trying to apply concise, black-and-white language to nuanced and complex issues. Personally, I don’t consider 1080 to be “environmentally damaging, either.

    • weka 9.1

      It’s tricky. That sentence is referring to poisons in general, so I think it’s a fair general point that makes the GP direction clear. It reassures the sustainability people that the GP won’t throw out those principles for the sake of conservation.

      1080 is arguably damaging to the environment. It kills many native species. That the overall benefit is worth that kill doesn’t negate the environmental impact.

      Whether we will see other impacts that aren’t obvious yet I don’t know, but I think it’s valid to be open to that idea.

      I’m guessing that there are sustainability issues in production of 1080 and other poisons. Certainly relying on helicopters for aerial drops grates. Not saying it shouldn’t be done in the interim, but relying on it in increasing amounts is not sustainable design. It’s an industrial solution.

      • MikeM 9.1.1

        “1080 is arguably damaging to the environment. It kills many native species.”

        Which native species and to what extent? Can you be more specific?

        I know there’s clear evidence of Kea occasionally dying from 1080 poisoning. There’s also considerable evidence that the specific kea affected have been the ones that’ve been trained towards highly exotic food sources through people repeatedly feeding them.

        I’ve also seen plenty of “1080 kills everything” slogans being splattered around, but virtually always with no obvious evidence to back them up.

        • weka 9.1.1.1

          I didn’t say 1080 kills everything. And tbh I’m sick of the whole bullshit between those who say 1080 is harmless and those who say it’s evil. I made it pretty clear in the post that I want to move past that kind of polarisation.

          Afaik there is no dispute that there is by-kill from 1080.

          • JC 9.1.1.1.1

            Or Trapping!

          • MikeM 9.1.1.1.2

            So which native species and to what extent? Sorry I didn’t think it’d be such a confronting question.

            Without you being specific I cannot know what you’re referring to because. As you say, there are so many true beliefs out there regarding 1080 killing native species.

          • MikeM 9.1.1.1.3

            I should add that I’m not trying to be polarising here, but in my experience there’s plenty of dispute (definitely in perception) about what native species bykill 1080 causes.

            Avian biology means that birds have to get a order of magnitude more of it to die from it. The nature of 1080 is also that when an animal doesn’t get enough of it to die, it simply passes through the system. (Unlike a toxin such as brodifacoum, which builds up cumulatively.)

            Many of the true accounts of native species bykill come from decades past when 1080 was spread in much higher concentrations, with different bait types and with different methods than it is today.

            There very probably is some bykill because, tbh, all it takes is for a bird to ingest too much, but those true accounts are often still being cited despite the complete changes in application techniques. The chances of this actually happening have decreased hugely over the years as spreading techniques have changed to take into account what’s been learned. (Plenty of unreferenced claims out there, though.)

            So AFAIK, while there’s likely evidence of bykill occurring, the extent of native species bykill is definitely something that needs clarity whenever it’s referred to, especially when “bykill” is be used to criticise or defend 1080. There’s strong argument that, in New Zealand, there shouldn’t be much native species bykill at all.

    • Incognito 9.2

      Minor correction: not all salts are (highly) water-soluble (e.g. lead sulfate in car batteries). Indeed, 1080 is very soluble in water.

    • JC 9.3

      kia ora Dave,

      “Dave Hansford wrote a book about the pest poison 1080 because “someone had to”.

      “I’d grown tired of seeing the volume and the extremity and the sheer amounts of BS in circulation about 1080,”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/92620150/national-portrait-1080-author-dave-hansford

    • Shane 9.4

      What do you know about sterility, no one has been able to answer this for me, it appears oversea’s studies concluded that effects of chronic poisoning from 1080 are seen with male species namely lizards, sheep, starlings. I am guessing you are the man to answer this for me Dave!

      • Keepcalmcarryon 9.4.1

        Doubt that dave will answer any uncomfortable questions. It gets in the way of the spin.
        One of those fanatics that polarize the debate albeit a pro 1080 ranter like some above.
        Ask him for hard statistics on any improvements on kea breeding post 1080 to offset the 13 percent adult and subadult mortality it is causing.

  10. xanthe 10

    “Support replacing poisons with humane and safe biological and physical animal pest controls wherever practical.”

    in other words sit on their hands while DOC and the PCE generate volumes of fake science and offer no opposition to that while those who would live in harmony with nature are driven out of the party IMHO

    • solkta 10.1

      “those who would live in harmony with nature are driven out of the party”

      Yes, there is a secret committee tasked with this objective.

      • marty mars 10.1.1

        Yep, dark shadows abound and within them the twitching is rife as they compile the lists and note those who cannot be anymore, at least under the leaf so green.

      • xanthe 10.1.2

        “Yes, there is a secret committee tasked with this objective.”

        Nope! just complete ignorance and indifference to ethical matters! and a blind following and belief in (economic) psudoscience.

        • solkta 10.1.2.1

          So how have people been “driven out of the party”? How have the ignorant and indifferent achieved such domination?

          • xanthe 10.1.2.1.1

            very good questions ! Solkta in the answers will be the seed of the restoration of the Greens as an environmental party.

            best place to start would be “the end does not justify the means” and how this understanding leads to “the means becomes the end”

            • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.2.1.1.1

              Very good questions, stemming from assertions of fact made by you with zero support. Your personal issues are not evidence.

    • JC 10.2

      Gotta Link to That …”Sitting on your Hands”

    • JC 10.3

      Cool Man!…

  11. Incognito 11

    From what I can see in the post the Green Party talks about pest rather than predator control and I think this may be a subtle but important distinction.

    I have not read the full Conversation Policy but I wonder whether there are separate (?) policies for insect control; this will cross over to protection of Primary Industries as well.

    I’m ill-informed on 1080 but as always the treatment needs to be balanced against inevitable side-effects and the cure should not be worse than the disease.

    One final comment is that these pests are, in a way, part of the current ecosystems and “restoration” of original (endemic) ecosystems is not quite as simple as it sounds because, by definition, ecosystem are integrated systems. This is not an argument for doing nothing but more of a reality check.

    • weka 11.1

      I was wondering as I wrote the post when the term ‘predator’ became so prevalent and why. Mind you, I don’t even like the word ‘pest’.

      A huge part of the native species problem is habitat destruction. Anything we do with poisons or whatever has to be done alongside changing NZ’s slash and burn (and spray) mentality.

      A classic example is DOC and council’s war on gorse. Gorse is a great nursery crop for regenerating natives to the landscape. Even DOC support this now. But for decades DOC and councils have been working hard to remove gorse and it’s still the primary response. If we look at the situation from sustainability design we would instead assess each landscape and what was needed and in many cases that would mean working with the gorse to achieve an a specific end.

      I think complete eradication of predators on islands is a useful goal. I’d even like this to be tried on a large island like Stewart Island. But the problem there is that a chunk of the locals and DOC have an animosity. That needs to be solved otherwise you will just get dickheads bringing over cats and even stoats, or not caring and bringing over rats by mistake (not taking care with boats). It’s those divides that need breaching. Lots of the anti-DOC people spend huge amounts of time in the bush and have knowledge we need. They’re also potentially going to be the people that will do ground control with trapping etc.

      • Incognito 11.1.1

        Agreed. The words “pest” and “predator” have different meanings; sharks are predators but not a pest and gorse is a pest but not a predator 😉

        • weka 11.1.1.1

          Lol, I see gorse as an asset myself 😉 Take a big chunk of the dairy cows away, throw on some gorse seed, and in 30 years you’ll have native bush. In many places you don’t even need to seed, it’s already there.

      • Psycho Milt 11.1.2

        I was wondering as I wrote the post when the term ‘predator’ became so prevalent and why.

        PR. “Predator” sounds dangerous and threatening, “pest” just sounds annoying (and has that whole “pest is in the eye of the beholder” issue). If you’re introducing a bold and expensive programme (“Predator-free by 2050!”) and want plenty of media coverage to help greenwash your otherwise anti-environment programme, “predator” is definitely your word.

        • Incognito 11.1.2.1

          A predator says something about what it eats and predators are essential for stable natural ecosystems.

          A pest, in the context of this post, competes with (an) existing species and pushes them out of an ecosystem (e.g. to extinction) and thus changes the ecosystem, often in a short space of time.

          Some argue that man is a predator and a pest …

    • marty mars 11.2

      Yes a pest is a subjective term – there are no pests in nature and humans are part of nature so… and therein lies the problem.

      • weka 11.2.1

        I take pest to be a label we use when something is annoying us. That then takes us down the track of slash and burn (get rid of the pests!!).

        Humans, the more roads and tracks we put in the more terrain we open for access by unwanted species.

    • Keepcalmcarryon 11.3

      It also leaves the door open to mass poisoning of deer, goats, tahr and chamois by terming them ” pests” , which rightly or wrongly has welfare connotations and a fight with a bunch of people who see large game as an asset as opposed to rats and stoats, and don’t have a problem with some of those animals at maneagable levels.

      • weka 11.3.1

        This is where I’d like to see both inclusive problem solving and local solutions. I think there are definitely places where we should be reducing large mammal numbers. But I also think we are in such desperate need of reforestation in NZ, that there is an ideal opportunity here for some land to be designed around the needs of hunters.

  12. Antoine 12

    The Greens’ position seems an uneasy compromise between the pro and anti 1080 folks, making no one really happy.

    For myself I would be pleased to see the Greens supporting the use of 1080, until and unless a better alternative is available.

    A.

    • weka 12.1

      The problem with that is if we don’t actively seek more alternatives now, 1080 use will increase and we will end up with less effective conservation over time.

      Also, we already have effective non-1080 methods. The question is more about why we’re not using them more.

      • Antoine 12.1.1

        I agree that we should seek alternatives, and I agree we should use another method when it is overall superior to 1080.

        But I still think the use of 1080 should be supported in cases where it is overall superior to all other available methods.

        A.

        • weka 12.1.1.1

          Which is what the GP policy says. The problem at the moment is that 1080 is being used in many situations where it’s not superior but where ideology and finances enable it.

          • Antoine 12.1.1.1.1

            While cost shouldn’t be the sole determining factor, it should carry some weight, you’ll agree?

            A.

            • weka 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Only where it’s factored in intelligently. We’ve just had nine years of National greed and stupid.

              • Antoine

                We have a limited DoC budget, hopefully we are about to have a much larger DoC budget but it will still be limited, I want ‘bang for buck’ where pest control is concerned.

                A.

                • weka

                  You’re not getting bang for buck. You’re getting an unsustainable and ideologically driven process that is less effective than it could be. Yes, increase the funding, but how that funding gets used needs to be re-examined.

                  • Antoine

                    > Yes, increase the funding, but how that funding gets used needs to be re-examined.

                    Indeed.

                    A.

    • Keepcalmcarryon 12.2

      I think within the Green Party there are a range of views on 1080 and policy is a balancing act.
      Eugenie Sage has a reputation as being very pro 1080 if that makes you feel any better.

      • weka 12.2.1

        That’s useful to know (even though it doesn’t make me feel better).

      • Antoine 12.2.2

        > I think within the Green Party there are a range of views on 1080 and policy is a balancing act.

        This was my impression also, and I appreciate the party won’t want to lose any members or voters over this

        A.

  13. Janet 13

    Someone mentioned 18 yrs olds conscripted to pest eradiction service I think graduates who want to work in the area of conservation should be required to do 3 solid years on the ground. I get many international graduates passing through my house as wwoofers who are dreamily thinking of working with something enviromental in the future.Practically they know nothing and most of ours will be the same yet they end up in positions of control in our DOC etc.

  14. cleangreen 14

    You are on to it there Weka.

    “However, the use of poisons on a large scale, particularly near people’s homes, poses ecological risks and raises community concerns. The Green Party Environment policy aims to minimise the use of all persistent, environmentally damaging, or non-sustainably produced poisons, especially when using aerial distribution, and we strongly support research and promotion of other pest control methods.”

    Most studies do not take consideration of the “Cumulative effects” of all piosonous exposures we are constantly bomdarbed with today in our lack of using the ‘wholistic approach’ .

    https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol17/iss2/art22/

    In science the use of the term ‘Cumulative’ is widely used in studies with some toxins but others are not so when this issue of 1080 comes along I am bemused at the scientific community for leaving these chemicals aside from the full scrutiny of considering “the ‘Cumulative effects’ to a ‘whole environment’ including us all (as man and beast) as we are all opart of the same whole environment.

    This is simply cunning attempt to alter the impacts of these incidious chemicals on our health & wellbeing for their monetry gain using this “cherry picking” dis-honesty.

    • weka 14.1

      Thanks. I’m largely avoiding the arguments over the science on 1080 (although the kea one above interests me), because there is cherry picking all round. The polarisation around ideology and world view needs to be resolved and then we can look at the science without people getting antagonistic and into a bun fight (not you, just in general). People’s feelings on this run high on all sides.

  15. Exkiwiforces 15

    The mass use of 1080 poison is one trick pony and from my POV a con job in behalf of the former NACT’s.

    Yes, 1080 is a cost effective way of managing pests, but not as a form of eradicating of pest. Having grown up in the Tasman/ Nelson region as kid my grandfather, great uncles who were miners and bushes or both along with my grandfathers mate Mr Gladstone who from down central way before war. All said the best way to get rid of pests was to hit them hard with poison (remember back in their day they were using some very nasty poisons) then immediately follow up a trapping and shooting because the poison will only knockout about 70% of the pests. As Mr Gladstone said overtime you are going to get a build up toxins in the ground in some areas of NZ which would affect other animals down the track.
    Mr Gladstone entlisted in 1939 and served in the 27th Machine Gun Battlion of the 2nd NZ Div until he was demobbed with his Italian war bride in 1945. He was very smart man.

    So my question to everyone what is the next step?

    Do raise some form of National Service and there are pros and cons or the Reform NZCC to fill that gap.
    The use of smart traps- there a Nelson or Wellington firm that has developed one that kills up to about posuims before it needs a reset
    Bring back the bounty system
    Bring back the old pest broads remember those for anyone old enough to remember
    them, before they were disbanded by the 84 Labour government.

    My background in this, I’m former member of the NZCC doing pest control with my SKS, .22mag sterling and my .308 Parker and Hale and later with a SLR.
    When I was based a RAAF Tindal south of Darwin and later from from Darwin before I was section under NT mental health act from my PTSD induced attempted suicidal therefore lost my privilege to have a firearms license.
    I doing was feral pest control in my spare time shooting feral dogs, pigs and buffalos on cattle stations that were using a 3 part management plan (using 1080, trapping and shooting) controlling feral pests and we were achieving about a 95% plus success rate in eradicating feral pests on those stations.

    • Keepcalmcarryon 15.1

      It depends on your semantics Exkiwi. I’d argue aerial 1080 is very good at localized eradication ( establishing onshore or mainland predator free islands) in conjunction with ground control within strict limits. that’s its best use IMO. It’s shit as some sort of rotational aerial tonic with reinfestation inevitably making native bykill hard to justify. So not a good ongoing management tool IMO. A very handy poison in bait stations.

  16. Matthew Whitehead 16

    This is definitely a good conversation to have. As I don’t personally have much expertise in conservation and just know about enough to say I generally feel it’s important and that my commenting would be dangerous, (the side-effect of being a home body who lives in a city 🙂 ) I don’t have much to add personally, but thanks to everyone who’s taking things so seriously here. Kia ora.

  17. Angel Fish 17

    People who are concerned for the extinction of a few NZ birds
    are complete clowns, unless they are also at the very least live a Plant based lifestyle.
    The extinction being carried out thanks to human activities like Animal agriculture,
    far exceeds what these pest animals are doing.

    They are nothing but an easy scape goat to take your frustrations on.
    Meanwhile you eat steaks, beacon and eggs and do untold damage to the ocean eco systems with your fish eating habits!
    Don’t be a clown!

    • Robert Guyton 17.1

      Native birds need habitat that features trees. Agriculture has replaced trees with pasture. However, it is possible that humans could “populate” farms and towns with trees that native birds feed, perch and nest on and in. Aye. There is a way forward. 1080 ain’t it.

      • Sabine 17.1.1

        We seem to rip trees our as if they were our own personal enemies.

        It’s frightening to see the large disappear to make way for a garage to house the car no one is driving or the boat that will see water only twice a year.

        • weka 17.1.1.1

          And dairy farmers removing trees and hedges to make way for irrigators.

        • Robert Guyton 17.1.1.2

          Ah, yes, Sabine, we do, we do. We have seen the enemy, and he is us. Little by little, we erode the wild world and simplify it for our comfort. We fear the wild and so we seek to destroy it. Trees hide Great Danger; outlaws, men in green; as in Vietnam, we strip the landscape clean of tree-cover so that we can, like rabbits in pasture, see our enemies approaching. We nibble forest down to make ourselves feel safe. We are orcs. We hate trees. Sure, we have our pet tree-places: parks, arboretums, back yards, but we control them, not visa versa! We are the sawyers, the sprayers, the agriculturalists we are the Rulers of the World!

          • weka 17.1.1.2.1

            Pet tree parks, heh.

            (Like putting birds in sanctuaries).

            • Robert Guyton 17.1.1.2.1.1

              That’s what it’s coming down to, weka. The beauty of it though, is that the trees in “tree parks” yearn to be wild and we can facilitate that. Stewardship doesn’t mean mowing grass and clipping hedges. Horse -whisperers learn horse language; we have to learn the language of wild creatures, starting with trees. Let’s ent-moot 🙂

    • weka 17.2

      “The extinction being carried out thanks to human activities like Animal agriculture,
      far exceeds what these pest animals are doing.”

      False framing. We could convert to regenerative, hippified, plant agriculture and native species would still go extinct.

      • Robert Guyton 17.2.1

        I dunno, weka; we hippified horticulturalists have an eye for the native creatures. We’d make provision for them and use everything we’ve learned to help them flourish. The bellbirds in my garden love red hot pokers!!!!

        • weka 17.2.1.1

          Bellbirds aren’t at risk of extinction though precisely because they’re comfortable in places where people live. Pretty easy to make spaces they like. Kiwi not so much. I do like the idea of living around kākā again though!!

          Besides, I’m as much about conserving ecosystems as individual species. So mixed species horticulture has my full support, it’s just not a replacement for native ecosystems.

          • weka 17.2.1.1.1

            We can have both 🙂

            • Robert Guyton 17.2.1.1.1.1

              Some will fail. Most could thrive. As things stand, we and they are stuffed. We though, can think, plan, imagine, envisage, project: we can do this, but only after making some Great Leaps of Understanding. We need a new story. It’s there, waiting to be told. Once we strart hearing it, everyone will be amazed by how familiar the story sounds 🙂

              • weka

                If we cede very large areas (think Fiordland) to the introduced species, then we have agreed to abandon those native ecosystems, which pretty much means the smaller ones too. They will change and become something else, I’m pointing to the loss involved in that, and possibly one we can prevent but cannot afford.

                So the story is polarised atm and people are retrenching into their positions as the times get harder. The problem with the anti-nativists is that their story is entrenched too. Everyone wants to be right I guess.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Fiordland is already fatally compromised. We mustn’t abandon any of these remaining habitats, but have only a certain amount of “grunt” left in us; we have to apply that for the best possible return. Should we pour millions into searching for the South Island kokako, just in-case it still exists (we mustn’t give up!!!) ?

                  • weka

                    I wouldn’t prioritise money that way, but I think I’ve already said I’m more about the ecosystem than the species. So when I say that species preservation is important, it’s because I think it’s important in its own right, but it’s crucial for the ecosystem. You take out a species and the whole thing changes.

                    Fiordland isn’t fatally compromised at all. It’s full of incredible wairua and places that are whole and good despite the issues around introduced species (I’ll include people in that). What I would say about Fiordland is let people who want to be kaitiaki and manage the place live there, and they can work at the balance of grunt vs conservation. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the bush and I know people who would quite happily for instance manage trap lines if it meant they could live there and not be hassled by DOC.

                    The whole 1080 vs let nature sort itself out thing is a false dichotomy. There are so many other options that deepen our relationship with nature.

                    I’ll also put out there that it’s possible that native ecosystems are important for both prevention of worse case CC scenarios as well as healing them. We shouldn’t be giving them up lightly.

                    edited annoying autocorrect.

          • Robert Guyton 17.2.1.1.2

            Everything is at risk of extinction, weka. Including weka.

            • weka 17.2.1.1.2.1

              Of course. And you know that I know that. So what is being argued about is in what ways our various strategies might help us prevent that. I can make the case for native preservation.

              • Robert Guyton

                Would you “preserve all, or some?
                What’s you cut-off point?
                Winners and losers?
                Would the Gordian worm get a look in?

                • weka

                  I’d go catchment by catchment and see what was appropriate. Not sure what you mean by all or some. I think you are talking about species, I’m talking ecosystems.

                  • shane

                    In the mean time you need organise a basic level of funding for each and every ecosystem to hold them until you have explored them all. Like a farmer with their yearly expenses required to maintain health pastures…….

    • People who are concerned for the extinction of a few NZ birds
      are complete clowns, unless they are also at the very least live a Plant based lifestyle.

      Every now and then it’s handy to have someone show up and remind you why PETA are so annoying and unpersuasive.

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