DOC kea monitoring results


These are DOC records of monitored kea found dead after 1080 drops in Franz Fox and Okarito; there are also entries for Otira (2013).

The necropsy results all show that the kea died from eating bait, not from secondary poisoning.

The Kea Conservation Trust say that predation by pests is the number one cause of kea mortality. They support 1080. Why? Because in most 1080 drops no radio tagged kea are killed by 1080. And once predators have been knocked down their breeding success increases dramatically.

Chair of the Kea Conservation Trust, Tamsin Orr-Walker said 1080 was the best option for widespread pest control in the South Island – as destruction of kea nests by pests was still the greatest threat for the birds. “It would be great if someone found an alternative, but at the moment there isn’t anything practical in the South Island area,” she said.

The kea that have been killed by 1080 were in areas where kea were used to getting food from humans.

These days, particular care is taken in areas where there are “junk-food kea”. Here is the DOC Code of Practice for 1080 near kea.

And there have been no kea lost to 1080 since 2014.



“Kahurangi” Birds

This image has been shared numerous times and linked to various locations. Not one toxicology report to prove any of these birds died from 1080.


Jim Hilton has a degree and experience with some government science institutions. As far as we know, he has never studied 1080 using actual scientific methods. According to Jim’s public LinkedIn CV, he worked for the Forest Research Institute (now Scion) back in the 50s. He then spent one year studying crop damage by birds for DSIR ecology division. He then got a science degree. Since then he has listed no science experience.

This photo was from an area that had 1080 dropped in 2014. Maryann Ewers and her volunteers combed the bush they take care of (8,000 hectares) and found no dead birds. Jim Hilton said he found these birds in a tributary of the Motueka River, we presume the east side. These are mostly introduced birds – blackbirds, sparrows, finches, thrushes – plus 4 silver-eyes, 1 kingfisher, 2 kereru, 1 morepork, 1 fantail, 1 harrier. Apparently Jim Hilton refused to give them to DOC for testing. For all we know, they are all still in his freezer.

It’s very, very odd that kereru and kingfisher are included.

Fundamentally its a picture of dead birds. Even if we could link it to a particular location due to earliest source. There is no evidence these birds were killed by 1080! In fact if even the original source was an anti disputes that! Ie no toxicology report! Nevermind actual monitoring results even back into the early 80s dispute these birds were killed by 1080!

The point is none of these birds tested positive for 1080 poisoning, yet 1080 is still blamed for their death and people believe those unsubstantiated claims.

This is a good link to explain the risks based on actual bird kill research:



1080 and Bees


The issue of 1080 and bees came up in 1992 when a batch of paste bait for possums was made with sugar. The bees carried it back to their hives and there was green toxic honey and dead bees. So they removed the sugar from the paste and the problem went away.


Don Mac also writes below his post that is only partially quoted in this photo: “Personal declaration; I support the use of 1080 to control introduced pests in order to protect NZ native bird life as documented by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.”

Anti-1080 advocates use this 1992 one-off to suggest that hard cereal baits are a problem for bees. They aren’t. DOC and Ospri don’t aerial drop 1080 jam. If anyone have an issue with it maybe they need to take it up with the rabbit contractors who still use it on upturned sods of dirt in paddocks. The same rabbit contractors who are also usually possum trappers. Go figure.

There is also much missing from the statement quoted in the Facebook posts using these images.