Effects of an aerial 1080 possum poison operation using carrot baits on invertebrates in artificial refuges at Whirinaki Forest Park, 1999 – 2002
- Research, Development & Improvement Division, Department of Conservation, P.O. Box 10-420, Wellington, New Zealand
- Statistics Research & Consulting Centre, Massey University, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North, New Zealand
- Present address: Crop & Food Research, Private Bag 11-600, Palmerston North, New Zealand
The effects of an aerial 1080 possum poison operation using carrot baits on invertebrates in Whirinaki Forest Park are described from an un-replicated study of artificial refuges attached to tree trunks. Auckland tree weta (Hemideina thoracica), cave weta (Pharmacus sp. and Isoplectron sp.), cockroaches, spiders and harvestmen, and leaf-veined slugs (Athoracophorus bitentaculatus) were the most frequent occupants, but snails, millipedes, centipedes, flatworms, lepidopteran larvae, glowworm larvae (Arachnocampa luminosa), peripatus, slaters and beetles were also present occasionally. Invertebrate numbers were monitored every second or third month for a year before the poison operation, and for two years afterwards. Numbers of tree weta, cave weta, cockroaches, spiders and harvestmen, and leaf-veined slugs did not decline substantially in refuges in the treatment area relative to those in the non-treatment area immediately after the poison operation. Our results, and those from two other similar studies, suggest that aerial 1080 poison operations are unlikely to have a detrimental effect on invertebrates that occupy cavities above ground.