Kea Deaths Indicative of Decimation of Native Birds by 1080

Submitted by Paul Murray on Wed, 30/07/2008 - 3:03pm

KAKA Press Release:

The deaths of seven kea in Franz Josef area following a recent sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) drop in the region shows well the devastating impact the 1080 programme is having on native bird populations nation-wide.

A Department of Conservation draft internal report on the deaths of kea states, "aerial 1080 may well be a significant threat to the kea population" and some drops are "probably devastating."

While the deaths of kea is unacceptable "collateral damage" in the process of killing possums, the chronic effects of the broad-scale use of the dangerous toxin may prove even more devastating. Chronic effects of 1080 poison occur when an animal or bird consumes a less that lethal dose of the poison, which can lead to a host of other health problems, including infertility and birth defects.

Sodium monofluoroacetate is male fertility inhibitor and a known endocrine disruptor. Chronic doses of the poison may cause sterility in males and pregnant females of any species are particularly susceptible.

Infertility in a male population of any animal species is extremely problematic as the inability to breed is a major factor in population decline as the sterile males will fail to perpetuate the species and an overall decline in numbers will result.

The chronic effects of 1080 poison are not limited to the animal kingdom, the same is true for human populations and the massive amount of 1080 being used nationally will eventually infiltrate human life with similar results.

It is time for the Department of Conservation, Animal Health Board, regional conservation boards, district health boards, Forest & Bird and regional councils to swallow their pride and admit that the environmental risks of aerial 1080 are far greater than previously thought and set about being part of the solution rather than continuing to perpetuate the problem with inaccurate information and media spin...for the benefit of all New Zealanders and our beautiful country.

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