Only 1080 can save NZ's plant, animal crisis - science writer

Only 1080 can save NZ's plant, animal crisis - science writer

The author of a new book called Protecting Paradise says we're at risk of being responsible for the extinction of many more bird species unless we use the controversial 1080 poison against predators like rats, stoats and possums.

Science-writer Dave Hansford says he knows a thing or two about 1080 - he says our biodiversity's in crisis and only 1080 can save it.

Kahurangi National Park just outside of Nelson is a beautiful slice of New Zealand bush - but Hansford says it's also a place of unimaginable carnage.

"Every year, rats, possums and stoats devour the eggs and chicks of about 25 million native birds. Twenty-five million birds that never make it into our forests - and that's why our forests are silent, not because of 1080."

He says science overwhelmingly shows animals do better after a 1080 drop because the pests are off their backs and the animals are given a chance to breed in peace.

Kahurangi was meant to be the site of New Zealand's largest 1080 drop, but rain has grounded the operation.

The Department of Conservation admits 1080 kills kea and deer and occasionally dogs - but the drops are well advertised, and dogs are not allowed in the area.

Mr Hansford says it's time people ignore the myths and listen to the science before it's too late.

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