Conservationist Tony Orman has concluded an excellent series of short articles about the highly detrimental impact of sodium monofluoroacetate, better known as 1080, in the Kapiti Independent News.
We became intimately aware of the poisoning issue when in 2010, four hedgehogs and two tui birds from a neighboring retirement village came into our property and died. As the tui is, like all native birds, protected and the protection is enforced by the Department of Conservation, that is where we went. They told us that they had already spoken to the manager, who has the management contract for that business, about poisoned native pukekos that used to exist there.
The deaths of the hedgehogs wasn’t quick, it took a few days. We can only begin to imagine their suffering. Needless to say, it made us committed anti-poisoning campaigners. In this case the poison didn’t appear to be 1080, rather something else, but the impact was the same.
We well understand the need to eradicate possums which do a lot of damage to the country’s native flora and fauna, but why not let trappers and shooters do the job? There is in fact no possum problem where we are, although there is a small problem with rabbits. However, given that rural land around Waikanae is increasingly being turned into housing subdivisions (some of it by this man), then so what?
What really concerns us is the potential of people’s pets being poisoned. Cats in particular like to engage in nocturnal neighborhood patrols – and we have lived in apprehension ever since the above episode of the prospect, as have others around our neighborhood.