Modern aerial 1080 (sodium monofluoroacetate) operations are effective in reducing population densities of possums, rats and stoats, thereby reducing predation pressure on birds. Debate regarding 1080 use, however, continues to centre on potential non-target effects, with some groups claiming that birds are killed in large numbers such that forests “fall silent”. We investigated these claims by recording birdsong for 5–8 weeks before and after three separate 1080 operations in the Aorangi and Remutaka Ranges of the lower North Island, New Zealand.
Large-scale bird monitoring can provide valuable insights about drivers of population change across different spatial and temporal scales. Yet, challenging terrain and survey costs hinder the collection of data needed to estimate absolute abundance or population densities for New Zealand’s forest birds. Acoustic sampling is being used more frequently to increase efficiency in avian monitoring and paired sampling facilitates robust density estimation from acoustic data.