Tuesday, 6 September 2011

DoC's new take on Tom Lehrer's old song is "Poisoning Parrots in the Park"

Ex DoC scientist Colin Miskelly claims Project Kaka is to prove the efficacy of 1080 poison by dropping it at three yearly intervals across the Tararua Forest Park. It appears they have to do this because after nearly 50 years of 1080, they have so far failed to prove it works. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, he believes Project Kaka will both enhance "indigenous bio-diversity" and provide a "flight corridor" for kaka from Kapiti to Mt. Bruce. Given DoC’s dismal record with kaka at both sites, such as 20% of a radio tagged population of kaka poisoned at Kapiti and six known kaka deaths to poison at Mt. Bruce, kaka with any sense would stay away from both those places and the corridor between them!
The impact of Project Kaka on "indigenous bio-diversity" is even worse. The base of all ecosystems are the insects; 1080 was originally registered as an insecticide and DoC still has a registration for 1080 as an insecticide, so what is DoC doing about monitoring the insects in this toxic havoc it is inflicting on the forest? Well, despite a magnificent bit of convolute bureaucratise, nothing. They are not going to monitor forest floor insects at all.
Project Kaka will do three things. One is to ensure a continuation of the three year cyclic plague of rats, whose population explodes after forest poisonings. Secondly, it will also seriously reduce, possibly wipe out local populations of slower breeding native birds like kakariki and kaka. Perhaps most importantly, the third thing it will do is help maintain a healthy bottom line at Animal Control Products, a wholly government owned poison manufacturing facility in Wanganui. Pity about the parrots!