As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Poisons ready in New Zealand's battle to save rare birds

Jan 29,2014
WELLINGTON, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Conservation officials are preparing their largest ever pest control program, involving a widescale poison drop to kill a surge in rat and stoat numbers that threatens to wipe out many of New Zealand's native birds.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) said Wednesday that climatic conditions had prompted an unusually heavy forest flowering this summer across both islands, particularly in South Island beech trees.

DOC scientists predicted the resulting bumper seed fall would fuel rapid increases in non-native rat and stoat numbers putting vulnerable populations of rare birds, bats and other species like threatened snails at high risk in the coming spring.

DOC director-general Lou Sanson said DOC has identified South Island forest sites with high risk populations and would be closely monitoring these areas in coming months for early signs of rapidly rising predator numbers.

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