Posted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:23 am Post subject: Survival of Kakariki in the wild
1080. good or bad ? lots of views on the use of 1080 in NZ. I've just returned from a 3 day trip into Kahurangi National Park in an area where a big 1080 drop of 500 sq kms was done. There were similar drops in other areas of Kahurangi
My purpose was checking traps lines. The 1080 drop was done in Nov. Without a drop one could expect to find a good number of rats etc in the trap line. I found one solitary rat caught in a trap close to an alpine lake. 1080 was not dropped close to lakes.. It would seem the 1080 has wiped out the vast majority of nasties that kill birds like Kakakriki. This gives birds a window of opportunity to raise young and gives protection for about 4-6 months until the new wave of rats etc shift in.
You may ask, "Were there many birds evident on my walk".?
Simple answer YES. In total I walked about 22 hours checking traps. I heard Kaka. Saw more bellbird than I've ever seen on the mainland. Tui galore. Riflemen. Weka came out of the bush often during rest breaks. But what of Kakariki. I saw 3 lots of Kakariki at 3 seperate sites and heard lots more.
In contrast some vast areas of New Zealands forest are silent.
Best of all I slept outside, not in the huts. The dawn chorus was stunning. The best..... In lakes and streams I saw hundreds of fish.
So the big question is can our native NZ birds be saved from decline and extinction ?
Kakariki are not very abundant on the mainland of NZ. As an example I trecked for 6 days a couple of years ago in the same area. Trapping methods were catching big numbers of predators. In that 6 days I did not see a single Kakariki. I heard one bird just once. Native birds are decimated by rats and stoats and some forests in NZ are virtually silent
To answer your question. The 1080 drop was done in Nov. As a non scientist observer I'd assume the kakariki have survived the Nov drop OK. Because I have NEVER seen so many on the mainland. I am aware a few Kea have died. To try and save Kea in drop zones volunteers have set up feed/play areas to encourage the Kea out of drop zones for the duration. Volunteers do so much to save birds. I find objectors talk a lot but do not actually offer assistance by way of doing grunt hard yakka in NZ.s difficult terrain. Another issue is that kakariki make a lot of noise and attract attention of stoats. Having an area free of stoats for a while gives them a small chance.
We visited NZ three times to look at kakariki in the wild.
With the view of german greenears it was a very difficult journey.
Yes as comunicating humans rangeres told us much about "pest-controllling", but to view wild kaks in NZ ist really a difficult procidure!
A controversial subject is 1080
And a lot of mis information generally dealt out by by anti 1080 campaigns and 'tree hug ' organisations.
Unfortunately this mis information also has had a detrimental effect on creditability of many of organizations, that other wise do a lot of good work.
One sector that does have a genuine point is the hunting guys.. even thu NZ was mammal free other than a small bat before human occupation around 1500 yrs ago.
The out doors, deer / pig hunting for example has a strong lobby and a 'tradtional ' part of our way of life even for the blue collar worker , unlike most other parts of the world. So they do have a genuine gripe.
Traping , professional culling, sort of kept possums, stoats , deer, rabbits in some sort of check upto the late 60s.. and the traditional trapper/ culler dies off...many grew up in harder times of depressions, world wars and where of generally the product of a 'tougher' generation. The 70s saw the post ww2 generations, economic boom, and the generations since moved in more desk type employment...
So we have situation as mentione above of a lot of do gooder , tree huggers are prepared to wave placards, tell us the old culling traping methods are the way to go... but cant come up the the people prepared to take on the hard life to do so.
Basically a day out planting a few trees with a cut lunch and soft bed on a conservation project is their limit.
One thing I did start to notice in the 90s, in 1080 areas was the growth of our bush.. under growth and top growth...the number of huge dead trees (cuased by possuims ) now reduced Not just by less trees but others near by now able to survive long enough, growing above them.
Kakariki where basically wiped out by the 1920s .. with the bulk of the damage done by the late 1800s. Different time , different priorities.. but huge flocks of kakariki would descend on settlers crops.. so a few blasts from a scatter gun took out 1000s at time.. and kakariki have no natural fear of man... Then late 1800s on introduction of possums , stoats, ferrits, rats and these populations exploded.. basically taking care of the rest of the kakariki flocks... and many other species .
I have heard many a commentator talk about 1080 drops and the bush goes silent... and yes I have heard (or not heard?) the silent bush....but so much of this silence has been pre 1080.. and ok maybe it could be a little more after a drop. But there is nothing to say it was 1080 the cause...On the other hand, once a vermin population is under control , it doesnt take many seasons for these areas to recover way more than the pre drop conditions.
A pet annoyance of mine.
Anti 1080 ppl make a big deal that NZ used something like 90% of the world production of the product... and a BIG other counties dont use it.
What they dont tell u the USA . Europe, damn near every other country are trying to recover their badger, wolf, cougar, deer, populations
1080 targets mammals...
They dont want to target the species they are trying to recover do they.
Thankyou for your insights, and especially being from the front line on the ground[/b] _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
1080 is an emotive subject in NZ. Folk who are actually involved in conservation tend to to agree with it being used. a good portion of the population are against. Those I've met simply do not feel comfortable with hundreds of tonnes of poison being dropped. I ask them a couple of questions .. "Do you regard yourself as a conservation". "Oh yes" is the common answer. "Do you do anything at all to help by way of giving up time putting on boots , rolling up your sleeves and doing something to help. You can volunteer for many project all around the country".
I do not like the idea of 1080 being used. However it is the best tool in the kit. In reality the trapping option scratches the surface and simply knocks of a few nasties. Trapping is very dependant on volunteers who are often in their older years. Younger volunteers are quite rare, apart from the ones who plant a couple of trees and have a firm belief they have saved the planet by their actions. Until better control of predators evolves we must continue sing 1080.
The ruggedness of the New Zealand bush cannot be fully understood unless one actually goes there. opponents of 1080 are growing in numbers. If they prevail it will be goodbye to many bird/lizard and other species. They'll be gone in a couple of years.
Wasps is another interesting subject. Maybe for another day. In our part of the country there are billions of wasps in the beech forest feeding on a natural sugar secreted by an insect living in the bark of beech trees. Again trappers have to contend with being stung whilst checking trap lines. It's a tough life for some volunteers. But we do it because we care.
Those I've met simply do not feel comfortable with hundreds of tonnes of poison being dropped.
I dont think anyone is.. even pro 1080...
I have yet to see a better alternative that works.
Unfortunately, in all walks of life, be it Privet, ragwort, cancer, or an invading army....drastic measures are required to turn back the invasion to protect the inhabitants...and often there is collateral damage.
The bottom line is either wave a few placards or do a couple 1/2 hearted attempts and loose the battle quick and totally. being a total waste of time and effort.
OR take on the invasion with chemo, chemicals, guns and missiles.
And that reality applies right across the board
The ruggedness of the New Zealand bush cannot be fully understood unless one actually goes there
I dont think the PC BS do gooders understand there are many sections in the bush that cant be accessed to trap/ shoot what ever.. and trap or what ever around these pockets, be they kms across or 50ms....it doesnt take long for population explosions of vermin expand out from them.
What about Ferrel cats in the bush?[/quote] _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
Cats. Yes there are feral cats. These are not cosey moggies. These felines will tare your face off given a chance. Sadly we often find cats in the bush that are obviously discarded pets. So who is to blame there. Then we find possum in traps that are stripped to the bone. Apparently a feral can eat its own body weight in a sitting. Hard to believe maybe but I've seen possum skeleton frames hanging in a trap. We set live catch traps next to these finds and usually a cat will simply walk in a be caged. Video records show this. These cats are very big strong and have much larger heads than our suburban cushion dwellers. They are super predators in the NZ bush
The first time we caught one my wife insisted strongly that we take it to the vet. Bad move. The vet put it down and said we were risking our faces and eyesight having cared for the cat. Ferral cats cannot be tamed.
A friend of mine was attacked by a feral and he was scratched deeply all over both legs, arms and face. his wife claimed that he looked like a monster man from a horror film.
Ok that is cats.Imagine the fate of many Kakapo on Stewart Is, where there is a big wild cat population.
I have just received some info about next DOC meeting at Nelson Lakes.
69 wild cats were caught between May 2013 and June 2014.
That is a massive predator potential in an area where Kaka were down 7 males 25 years ago. Now around 100. $500K was spent re-introducing the great Spotted Kiwi. Absent for 200 years. Kea numbers are falling and they are in trouble.
So having 69 cats out of the equation is a slim chance for the native birds. It is a big task, saving these last few creatures from extinction.
And not helped on e bit by the anti 1080 folk.
Shame we dont hear much about the cats.
We have lost all our slinks, reptile population fantails and most of our blackbird and thrush population in are urban backyard due to semi domestic cats.
Add to that damn near every cnr of the section stinks, and the deck entertainment area is practically usable.
Trying to plant out seedling or rows of dwarf beans is becoming a waste of time... down to less than 50% survive
Then the stink of cat poo, let alone having to deal with it....
The up side... dont have to maintain rat mice poison around the aviaries as much....which in the urban situation , more hedgehogs less snails.
With this much destruction in 1 urban garden(not even considering the others around also)...from well feed small domestic cats... what happens in the wild from a far more 'refined' and skilled predator one shudders to think.
We have the right in this country to not have stock hassled/ damaged by dogs, be intimidated , have our sections and streets fouled , gardens and destroyed by others dogs and pets.. we have the right to a reasonable lifestyle in this way.... but these destructive, environmentally unfriendly cats are the only exception.....they have more rights than neighborhood children on the way home from school.
Im no Fan of Garth Morgan... but this one he got right.. unfortunately he has a tenancy to make waves, then move on.. [/b] _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
Steptoe, i think you are right,
the introduction of pest ist a not reversal desaster.
It's present in all countries here in gemany, in the USa or , yes in NZ.
We , yes WE're thinking about the belongings of nature we do not have an other change, as to think about a "plan B" - or simply to go on with helping the lost species. You know me, the focus of my eyes is the focus on the belonings of kakariki ( and much other endangered species).
Protecting the wild, that's a main conclusion of many lost years - is - please THINK POSITIVE --- allways!!!
I may be wrong but did someone test 1080 on Kakariki and observed that they did not eat it. Maybe I read this somewhere or maybe I imagined it
Only I was recently challenged by a person who said 1080 kills everything in the bush.
Thanks Steptoe for the link.
Yesterday we carried out our usual trap line checks in Nelson Lakes National Park. Recently this area was 1080 treated but due to fickle weather and a strange decision to hand spread pellets in some zones the overall result was not as good as hoped.
This time of year routine checks are carried out each week by one or two volunteers. We are a small group who make the journey to the lake and give up a whole day. We takes turns and select dates from a roster.
The weather was kind yesterday although we regularly go out in sun, rain, sleet and snow. Often the winds up high can be ferocious
Yesterday we caught 22 rats, 3 ferrets, 3 stoats and 6 possum. 4 h/h.
A few weeks ago we could expect 60-70 rats from this 225 long trap line.
Compare this to the Kahurangi successful 1080 drop that I originally reported.
From about 100 traps there was just one single rat caught. 1080 had removed the main predators and gave birdlife a chance to raise their young.
At Nelson Lakes we have brought Kaka back from the brink. Tui and Bellbird are in good numbers. Great Spotted Kiw were reintroduced about 10 years ago. If we miss checks for any reason then the predators would return and destroy all the good work done over the last 15 years.
2 drops of 1080 per year would give a more effective result than hundreds of hours of trap line work by dedicated folk who understand clearly the struggle we face.
Our Kea seem in serious trouble and I fear we might loose them in the coming years
I'm sure those good folk who oppose 1080 use do not have even a remote understanding of this issue because of the mis-information put out by some zealots.
For us volunteers, taking a break and brewing a billy on a cracker day looking out from the high peaks across to the inland Kaikoura ranges. We are privileged indeed.
I'm sure those good folk who oppose 1080 use do not have even a remote understanding of this issue because of the mis-information put out by some zealots.
Bit of a side note that comment brings to mind..
owning/ occupying a home brings maintenance, unfortunately these common place actions have been lost in this modern day urban world.
Routine laying of poison/ traps around the home, in the roof , under the house WAS carried out, espec this time of yr just before rats and mice decide to leave the colder environment coming up outside.
These same do gooder , misinformation ppl tend to be part of those who no longer do such routine maintenance and are also the 1st to jump up and down they have rats and mice in their homes.
When u meet them ask them.. I assure u Im correct.
We have lived in grass huts, tents , 1800s homes uninsulated for 1000s of yrs.. these same ppl now jump up and down because they have cold homes, mold on the walls... Why?
because they do not air / dry the home out, then use fuels like LPG/ gas that pile huge amounts moisture into the walls.. and want landlords to fix a problem they have created themselves.
These so called PC BS do gooders far too often if had 1/2 a brain would die of confusion... and cost this country billions of dollars in health care, building costs.. list goes on and on.
Maybe not the most diplomatic of statements .. buthey call a spade a spade... a spade digs.. its not a shovel thats used for mucking out stables _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
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