Native Whio consuming 1080

Claire Ogilwy made this Official Information request to Department of Conservation

The authority would like to / has responded by post to this request.

From: Claire Ogilwy

To the Department of Conservation

Can you please provide all internal and external correspondence relating to the Whio poisoned as part of the Battle for our Birds 1080 operation Mt Egmont 2016.

Sample records 20554 from Ngatoro Stream, 20598 and 20599 from Maketawa Stream tested positive for 1080 residues as per DoC’s Vertebrate Pesticide Residue Database.

Please provide copies of DOC field notes in relation to the Whio monitoring that occurred on the following dates: 7, 13, 16, 22 December 2016 and 5, 6, 11 January 2017.

Please confirm the laboratory that tested the samples.

Were these samples frozen before testing and how long were they stored before testing? This information is important as the ERMA 2007 review noted under-reporting regarding freezing samples at -20c. What temperature do you freeze samples and at whose recommendation.

Why did you not include the 1080 testing of Whio scat samples in your Operational Report to the EPA?

Why is your VRPD Database so different than Landacares? Why do you not fill in the Mandatory Fields so that the public can see what the sample types relate to rather than a reference number? Please provide an up to date version with missing mandatory fields filled in.

Please provide information relating to the Whio that must have been presented dead after a 1080 drop for Landcare to be testing Muscle tissue for 1080 residues 14/11/16. Please advise if this Whio duck was frozen and how long was it stored before testing.

Are you aware of the Montana 1981 study (that wasn’t included in ERMA’s 2007 “extensive” scientific research) that shows detection levels of 1080 decrease in correlation to freezing samples and increased storage time. 1080 within muscle samples decreased by 79% and stomach and content by 49% over 14 days.

Is this why in your Kiwi Best Practice you advise not to freeze samples? Best-Practice-Manual.pdf

Are you aware of the following study by Landcare published in 2000

The comparatively few published studies that exist on the sub-lethal effects of 1080 (Eason et al. 1999; O’Connor et al. 1999) indicate that histopathological damage to key target organs may occur at extremely low dose levels. There is some species variation in the target organs that are affected by 1080 which may, in part, be due to differences in biochemical responses of different organs or, in the case of birds, reflect heightened metabolic activity in muscle tissue. Exposure to sub-lethal doses may in some instances be sufficient to have long-term detrimental effects. The effects observed in this study in key organs, such as heart and wing muscle, highlights the need to monitor individuals or populations in the medium- to long-term to ensure there are no longer-term adverse effects on non-target wildlife. Effort to minimise exposure of birds continues to be of paramount concern to wildlife management agencies. Histopathological examination of wing muscle could assist in the diagnosis of 1080 poisoning.

When Whio ducks have consumed 1080, this is likely to make them more prone to predation and/or ill health. How is DOC going to manage how many poisoned insects Whio eat, or are the Whio eating baits direct?


Claire Ogilwy

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From: Government Services
Department of Conservation

Dear Claire

On behalf of the Director-General of the Department of Conservation, I confirm receipt of your request below.
Your request has been forwarded to the relevant business group for processing. You will receive a reply in accordance with the requirements of the Official Information Act 1982.

Yours sincerely

Alan Moran
for Director-General

Alan Moran 
Government Services Advisor (Government Services)
Policy and Visitors Group
Department of Conservation–Te Papa Atawhai
Phone:  0275665778
Conservation House (Level 2) 19-32 Manners Street [ PO Box 10420, Wellington 6143 ]
Conservation for prosperity Tiakina te taiao, kia puawai

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