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.

Saturday 20 September 2014

Pests wiping out unique ‘land of birds’

OPINION: Maryann Ewers and Bill Rooke spell out the importance of using 1080.

Nicky Hager
The debate regarding 1080 use is again hot news and opponents are making headway via the media and some political parties. The general public are being led to believe that this issue is far more divisive than it actually is.

The greater proportion of those against its use comes from a hunting ethos that's embedded in New Zealand's culture. No amount of peer-reviewed scientific evidence or two in-depth reports have changed their opinions.

Quite simply, to these people, the protection of introduced game animals, to later kill at will, is more important than halting the extinction of species that evolved here millions of years ago.

Do human recreational values take precedence over the survival of these species? This is the question the public is being asked to make a judgment on.

We and many people like us, who have spent years trapping pests, not as a recreational pursuit but out of a deep felt obligation to try and save our precious native biota, have no hidden agenda.

Deer, pigs, thar, chamois, goats and wallabies are found in accessible places all over New Zealand and on DOC estate, yet an increase to 7 per cent of 1080 use on DOC land has spawned the emergence of a Ban 1080 political party and constant ridicule of our Department of Conservation (DOC), Forest and Bird and other conservation groups.

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