Department of Conservation plans biggest-ever 1080 drop

The Department of Conservation (DoC) is planning its biggest-ever 1080 poison drop as New Zealand prepares for a plague of predators.

It's a mega mast year, meaning forests on both islands will be producing massive amounts of seeds due to warmer than usual weather.

As a result, pest populations explode - and when the seeds run out they turn their hunger to natives.

The DoC will be undertaking it's biggest-ever 1080 drop after the Government committed $30 million over the next financial year. But is that enough?

Forest and Bird says there's still a massive shortfall and is urging the Government to ramp up its pest control.

"Almost 4000 species that are at risk of extinction and so for a number of them this could be the death knell of their species," Forest and Bird CEO Kevin Hague says.

Forest and Bird says the mega mast season will cover both islands, a total of 5.4 million hectares. Yet the DoC operation will reach just one million hectares.

"So that's a massive shortfall so we really need the Government to step up its intention to protect its native wildlife," Mr Hague says.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage is on holiday but has previously said current funding should be adequate.

It comes as the SPCA experiences a backlash because it wants to ban 1080 and find a more humane way to kill pests.

University of Auckland biodiversity expert Dr James Russell says at the moment 1080 is the only large scale cost effective method available.

"The next five years - if not 10 years - we are going to have to continue to rely on 1080 until we see more investment and follow through on the new tools," he told Newshub.

Right-wing blogger David Farrar says he's noticed a backlash against the SPCA on his site, with people saying they would stop donating.

"When they get so outside the mainstream like this, it makes you wonder whether there are better animal welfare charities to give to," he says.

The SPCA says it's received a lot of feedback from both sides of the 1080 argument, but no noticeable drop in donations.

It's a debate the charity won't be able to avoid as New Zealand heads to what could be the most extreme mast year in the forests for decades.