1080 take is misinformed

In response to Clayton Mitchell’s piece on advocating alternatives to 1080 (The Weekend Sun, February 22), while looking for alternatives is a good thing, his piece is full of misinformation.

He says it is “a poison which has seen a significant negative impact on the environment, native birds, other native species and even dogs.”

This is incorrect, as native birds are benefitting from the use of 1080. In the forests where it has been used, native bird life has had a significant resurgence due to the reduction of introduced predators. As New Zealand native birds have evolved without mammalian predators, they have little or no defence against them. Some of our native birds are flightless and some nest on the ground. Mammals are particularly susceptible to 1080, so dogs shouldn’t be in forests where it has been used, and there are warning signs and public notifications to that effect.

His next statement is equally incorrect: “Nothing can escape the deadly poison.”

Conservationists have searched areas where 1080 has been dropped and have been unable to find any dead native birds. This was illustrated with the dumping of dead birds on Parliament’s steps - none of the birds tested were killed by 1080. Where are all these dead birds?

R Begley, Welcome Bay.


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