Two 1080 drops planned for Fiordland National Park

A mother and baby possum.

The Department of Conservation's Fiordland National Park offices are planning for two upcoming aerial 1080 poison operations, this time with an aim on possum control.

DOC Fiordland operations manager Greg Lind says the Hollyford and Cleddau areas of Fiordland National Park were set to be treated with aerial poison 1080 this winter as an effort to control possum numbers in the area.

He says signs of the possums had been very visible along the Hollyford tracks at the moment.

"They pose the same threat [as rats and stoats], but they also have major effects on vegetation."

It was also hoped the operation would take down any remaining rodent numbers from the 2016 beech mast. The operations were likely to be publicly notified either this week or next.

Greg says there were no other 1080 operations planned for Fiordland National Park for 2017. 2018 operations were still to be determined.

Earlier this year DOC treated six sites in the park with aerially applied 1080 as part of the national Battle for our Birds programme, including the Eglinton and Arthur Valleys, the Waitutu Forest and areas of the Kepler. 

Greg says the latest monitoring figures showed populations of vulnerable species such as mohua, kaka, kea, whio/blue duck, Fiordland tokoeka kiwi and native bats did far better with aerial predator control than without it.

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