New $21 million poison programme to protect vulnerable species
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has announced a $21.3 million war chest in the battle to save New Zealand's native birds.
In a pre-budget announcement on Tuesday she confirmed another mast, or heavy beech seed, season was expected and a predator control poisoning programme would cover 800,000 hectares of forest.
"Heavy seeding means more food for rats, and triggers an increase in their numbers which in turn causes a spike in stoat numbers, increasing the threat to our most vulnerable native species," Ms Barry said.
Trapping and poisoning will being in July and run through until 2018.
"We must continue to carefully and safely use 1080 if we are to protect our precious native creatures from these introduces killers," she said.