The 1080 debate

I have never liked the idea of bombing the hills with a toxin trying to kill as many predators as possible. It always seems such an indiscriminate and inaccurate way to target the desired baddies. There have always been bad stories of the “cowboys” who have been in charge of applying the stuff and this, combined in faulty research on species killed and the amount they have applied, have all contributed to make a lot of People very concerned. However this year is different. Every so often there is an extra supply of seeds dropped by Native trees and this provides a lot of food for Rats and Mice and this triggers huge numbers of unwanted vermin. In areas like Nelson Lakes, seed fall is expected to be around 3000 to 6000 seeds per square meter. Thats a lot of extra food. The problem is that other toxins  are a contaminate and have a worse effect on the environment than 1080 and those that are commonly available through Farmer and hardware supply shops have a “half life” much longer than 1080. (around 12 hours for 1080 and over 24 months for some of the common Rat poisons e.g.: Brodificoum, Flocoumafen, Coumateralyl ) In other words they kill the baddies but stay in the soil far longer.  When dropping 1080 it is hoped that Stoats will also get killed when eating dead or dying Rats, but some new evidence suggests it isn’t all that good at this and maybe a more serious contaminating poison like Brodificoum is better, but only effective if used in a bait station and not dropped from the air.

If interested, you be the judge, there is a breakdown of the research at  Or go to: and in the subject line type  Alternatives to 1080.