10 Sep 2011

Kea deaths blamed on 1080 poison

8:46 pm on 10 September 2011

An environmental group opposed to 1080 says the recent death of seven kea on the West Coast shows how dangerous the poison is.

The kea were among a group of 38 birds fitted with radio transmitters as part of a four-year programme to assess the risk of 1080 on their population.

The Department of Conservation says the pellets were supposed to be it will now look at a different formula as the baits were previously thought to be bird-repelling.

But the Chairperson of the Kumara Environmental Action Group, Gerard Bullimore says the recent deaths just show that 1080 does indeed kill everything.

"The seven keas that they found dead would be a minute percentage of native birds they have killed. Every time locals go out after a 1080 drop they're always finding (wood) pigeons, weka, everything - flattened."

He says a much safer option would be to employ professional trappers to control possum numbers.