This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Official Information request 'Post 1080 poison drop monitor data .'.
Dealing with Dead Birds 
Sampling Strategy 
Collection of appropriate samples is a key part of accurately determining cause of death 
where 1080 is suspected.  Birds should, where possible, be frozen and sent whole.  If the 
carcass is deteriorating quickly then it should be dissected and the appropriate tissues 
removed and placed separately in bags or specimen containers before freezing.  Instructions 
for the latter option are provided below. 
Target Tissue 
Sodium fluoroacetate (1080) is a very water soluble compound and rapidly passes through 
the body.  It is at its highest concentration in blood and stomach contents soon after 
poisoning.  After death, muscle is the best tissue to take, along with stomach contents.  The 
liver and kidneys do not normally retain large amounts of 1080, so are therefore not 
appropriate tissues to sample. 
Sample Types and Quantities 
Care must always be taken to ensure that samples are not contaminated by other tissues or by 
pesticide-contaminated surroundings during collection and storage.  Always ensure that 
dissecting equipment is thoroughly cleaned between samples. 
Stomach contents 
These are taken by dissecting the abdominal cavity and removing the complete stomach 
intact.  For birds the whole stomach can be collected. 
Skeletal muscle 
Muscle is best taken from the breast of birds.  When collecting muscle samples avoid tough 
sinew and other materials that will be difficult to homogenise in the laboratory.  A minimum 
of 10 g of sample should be provided, though 50 g is preferred.  If the birds are small (smaller 
than ruru) then the whole animals should be collected and sent for analysis regardless of state. 
Under The Official Information Act
Storage and Transport 
Sample packaging and storage  
Use the snap-top plastic bags provided for packaging muscle, stomachs and whole birds, but 
take care to seal the bags properly to prevent leaking.  Each sample must be placed in its 
own bag and not mixed with other samples

Each sample should be labelled externally with as much information as necessary to fully 
identify the sample on the test report.  Clear labelling with the provided waterproof pen is 
essential as the freezing/thawing process tends to obliterate markings.  Please use the 
provided adhesive labels, rather than relying on marking the plastic bag directly.  Pencil, 
though waterproof, is not easy to read in some circumstances and should be avoided. 
Please record the following on the specimen label: 
• Name of person who collected sample
• Species name
• Animal ID (band number/name)
• Type of sample (muscle tissue/stomach)

•  Date located 
•  General location (e.g. Coastal Waitutu, Slaughter Burn, Crombie, Poteriteri) 
•  Grid Reference 
•  Photos taken (yes/no) 
Samples should be frozen to below –10°C as soon as possible after collection, and preferably 
within 8 hours.  A chilly-bin packed with ice will be provided for temporary storage to those 
based at Poteriteri, Crombie and Waitutu Huts until the samples can be removed for longer-
term storage. 
Sample Analysis 
Frozen samples and/or whole birds should be couriered to  s9(2)(a)   at Toxicology 
Laboratory, Landcare Research (Lincoln) for analysis.  Before sending samples please 
contact s9(2)(a)  and warn her that samples are on their way and that they need to be tested for 
1080.  s9(2)(a)  can be contacted at 
 or by email 
The address samples are to be couriered to is: 
Toxicology Laboratory 
Landcare Research 
Gerald Street 
Lincoln 7608 
Individual tissue samples or whole birds should be transported to the testing laboratory in an 
insulated pack such as a chilly bin.  Alternatively, samples well wrapped in insulating 
material or layers of newspaper and packed in a cardboard carton will suffice.  Samples may 
be quite small and will thaw out rapidly in transit.  To prevent this they should be placed in 
contact with freezer packs or plastic soft-drink bottles filled with water and frozen, before 
Samples should be sent by courier door-to-door early in the week to avoid the possibility of 
thawing over the weekend.  They should be marked “Urgent tissue samples - please keep 
  No special declaration is required for samples sent from within New Zealand. 
Under The Official Information Act
On receipt at the laboratory, the sample details will be entered in the laboratory sample 
register and the sample placed in a freezer at –20°C to await analysis. 
Analysis results should be forwarded to
) who will submit the results to the Vertebrate 
Pesticides Residue Database (VPRD).