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.
Artificial refuges and mark-recapture techniques were used to monitor the non-target impacts of handbroadcast application (simulating aerial application) of Wanganui No.7 cereal-based baits containing 0.15% (1500 µg g-1) 1080 on populations of weta and other invertebrates in Tararua Forest Park, North Island, New Zealand. Wellington tree weta (Hemideina crassidens) and a cave weta (Isoplectron sp.) were the only species of weta that occupied the refuges.
The risks to non-target species of a newly developed bait containing either 0.15% 1080 or 0.6% cholecalciferol in a gel matrix were assessed. Very few of them ate gel bait. The safety of the gel bait is further enhanced by its placement in the purpose-designed bait station from which little spillage occurs, and which can be placed so that it is out of reach of most non-target animals. Comparative data show that nontarget species are considerably less susceptible to cholecalciferol than to sodium monofluoroacetate (1080).
There is growing awareness and concern in New Zealand about native birds eating poisonous baits intended for pest species such as brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) and rats (Rattus rattus, R.,norvegicus, R. exulans). We investigated the colour preferences of North Island robins (Petroica australis) a species known to be vulnerable to poisoning.
In 1996 an eradication operation against two species of rats (Rattus norvegicus and R. exulans was conducted on Kapiti Island (1965 ha) and its small offshore islands. Trials with non-toxic baits had been carried out to help determine the risks to non-target species, and research was undertaken to collect baseline data for measuring the response of vegetation, invertebrates, reptiles and birds to the removal of rats.
The field use of brodifacoum baits (Talon(R) and Pestoff(R)) to control brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) has increased in recent years. This has raised concerns of secondary and tertiary poisoning, resulting from the transfer of this toxicant through the food chain. In New Zealand, feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are known to scavenge possum carcasses and and may also gain access to bait stations containing possum baits. We have determined the concentrations of brodifacoum in muscle and liver tissue from captive pigs after primary and secondary poisoning.
To investigate the potential for mortality or sublethal effects in the tree weta (Hemideina crassidens) as the result of exposure to baits used for rodent control, and the potential secondary hazard to non-target species, captive weta were offered Ditrac® wax block bait containing the anticoagulant diphacinone. Bait consumption was recorded daily for the first week and then weekly. Weta were sampled in groups of four following 1, 4, 8, 6, 3, and 64 days of exposure to bait and analysed to determine the concentration of diphacinone residues in their bodies.