1080 poison will be dropped over hundreds of thousands hectares this winter as part of the largest ever pest control operation in New Zealand.
Conservation Minister, Maggie Barry, said the country’s largest pest control operation was being conducted to fight against the rise in the pest population expected over the winter months which threaten native wildlife.
“We’re expecting in excess of 30 million extra rats so it is biblical proportions of plagues of them and then following on from that hundreds of thousands of stoats, so we get in early, as soon as we start in July with the 1080 drops we will knock out those rodent populations and not let them get to those predicted levels.”
The Department of Conservation (DoC) drops biodegradable 1080 by air over large areas of rugged terrain to knock down rats, stoats and possums. Trapping and other ground-based pest control methods are also used.
According to DoC if nothing is done to fight the rise in pest populations, vulnerable species will be brought to the brink of extinction. The pest plague would also kill millions of other birds, native insects, bats and reptiles.