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What is 1080?

Sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) is the weapon of choice of the Department of Conservation to control pests like opossum, rats and stoats in our National Parks and state forests. Unfortunately, 1080 does not choose which animals it harms. As well as these pests, 1080 also kills native birds like robins, tits, ruru (morepork) and kea. It is also deadly to livestock, deer, dogs and humans.

Are you worried about the aerial distribution of this lethal poison in our country’s most pristine forests and native bush? You should be. DoC plans to aerially spread 1080 over 700,000 hectares this spring. This is an area the size of Taranaki.

Important 1080 facts every New Zealander should know

Aerial 1080 drops need to stop

We know that DoC has an important task in working to protect and preserve our natural environment, and our native flora and fauna.
However, studies have shown evidence of considerable harm to some native species from aerial 1080 operations as one would expect given the indiscriminate nature of the aerial 1080 programme. 19 different native bird species have had corpses test positive for 1080 after aerial 1080 operations, significant percentages of some native bird species are killed, and 11 of these native species have never had the poisoning risk quantified. Some of these precious national treasures may never recover such heavy losses.

This is a high price to pay for pest control. But it gets worse. The surveys also found that rats and stoats return to or exceed previous population numbers within two years.

Clear alternative methods of pest control are available, but are not adequately promoted or explored whilst there remains a total reliance by DOC/AHB on aerial 1080 operations.