Aerially distributed baits containing sodium fluoroacetate (1080) are used in New Zealand for small-mammal pest control over an average of about 600 000 ha each year. This can also kill non-target species, including deer. This incidental mortality of deer generates antipathy to 1080 amongst many hunters, adding to the broader opposition to aerial 1080. Hunter opposition to 1080 baiting has also prompted the development of deer-repellent 1080 bait formulations. Historical estimates of deer mortality varied widely but were sometimes high.
Brushtail possums at a 21 ha site at Castlepoint in the Wairarapa, New Zealand, were studied with capture-mark-recapture from August 1989 to August 1994. The mean annual adult population density, based on counts of mature possums trapped each year, was 8.7 per ha and varied by only small amounts during the study period. The median survival age was 32 months (95% CI 28–39) for females and 27 months (95% CI 26–30) for males.
The impact of aerially applied 1080 poison on a Western weka (Gallirallus australis australis) population was assessed at Tennyson Inlet, Marlborough Sounds, between September 2010 and June 2016. We estimated mortality and the incidence of sublethal poisoning as a direct consequence of two aerial 1080 operations and examined the differences in nest success, chick survivorship and adult survivorship. Most weka in the treated block appear to have been sublethally poisoned but only one of 58 (1.8%) radio-tagged weka died as a direct consequence of 1080 application.
The theory of population regulation predicts that threatened species are safest at high population numbers, partly because density-dependent compensatory mechanisms counteract unpredictable disturbances. We illustrate this principle using data from the endemic kokako (Callaeas cinerea wilsoni) populations in the North Island, New Zealand. First we calculate the fledging rate per female (production) necessary to stabilise the population and thereby the residual numbers of nest predators, namely ship rats and possums, which have to be achieved to reach this production.
Aerial poisoning operations with carrot or cereal baits are used to control brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) populations in New Zealand forests for ecosystem conservation and to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis to cattle and deer herds on adjacent farmland. Although various measures have been implemented to reduce the incidence of bird kills, dead birds continue to be found after poison operations.
Large scale aerial poison operations with 1080-carrot baits are used extensively to control possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) populations in New Zealand forests for ecosystem conservation purposes and to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis. Although various procedures have been implemented to reduce the incidence of bird kills, dead birds continue to be found after poison operations.