OIA 19-E- 0385/docCM 6000163
10 July 2019
K Lane [FYI request #10519 email]
Dear K. Lane
Thank you for your Official Information Act request to the Department of
Conservation, dated 12 June 2019. You requested the following:
Please supply the following information under the [Official Information Act
(OIA) / Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act
Toxicology reports and necropsy reports (including photos) for the two Kea
found dead after the April 2019 aerial 1080 operation conducted in the Perth
Valley by Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP) in partnership with DOC.
Before answering your request, we have decided to provide contextual information
about the predator removal operation ZIP is carrying out in the Perth River Valley.
This operation is part of a ZIP research and development trial that aims to completely
remove possums and potentially rats, and significantly reduce stoats, from the
12,000-ha research area, and to prevent predators from re-establishing. In addition
to the use of aerial 1080, the work programme also involves the use of ‘natural
barriers” such as large rivers and alpine ranges to prevent reinvasion, along with the
establishment of a network of devices to detect any survivors or invaders.
Thirteen radio-tagged kea were monitored through the first phase of the operation.
Sadly, two died from 1080 poisoning. This information has been publicly released on
the Department’s and ZIP’s websites: www.doc.govt.nz/news/media-releases/2019/zip-reports-kea-deaths-in-predator-
Conservation House - Whare Kaupapa Atawhai
PO Box 10 420, Wellington 6143
Telephone (04) 471 0726, Fax (04) 381 3057
Estimating kea population size is difficult due to factors such as their extensive range
over rugged terrain, their low population densities, and the cryptic behaviour of adult
birds. The estimated population of 75-100 kea in the Perth Valley/Whataroa area is
likely to be due in part to a long history of predator control in the area, including
multiple 1080 predator control operations. This is explained further in 2019 research
about kea survival during aerial predator control, publicly available online in the New
Zealand Journal of Ecology https://newzealandecology.org/nzje/3351
In response to your request, I have attached the pathology reports that contain
autopsy and toxicology results for the two birds that died in the ZIP operation.
Personal details of ZIP staff have been withheld under section 9(2)(a) – to protect the
privacy of natural persons. The Department does not hold photographs of the kea.
In making my decision, I have considered the public interest considerations in
section 9(1) of the Official Information Act.
You are entitled to seek an investigation and review of my decision by writing to an
Ombudsman as provided by section 28(3) of the Official Information Act.
Please note that this letter (with your personal details removed) and enclosed
documents will be published on the Department’s website.
Director Threats, Biodiversity