The history of the aerial application of rodenticide in New Zealand

Publication Date: 
2019
Place of Publication:
Location:
Call Number: 
[EL]
Notes: 
Available online
ISBN_ISSN: 
ISBN: 978-2-8317-1961-0
978-2-8317-1962-7
DOI: https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.CH.2019.SSC-OP.62.en
Content Item Id: 
46832
The history of the aerial application of rodenticide in New Zealand
Abstract: 

Following the incursion of rats (Rattus rattus) on Taukihepa (Big South Cape Island; 93.9 km²) off southern New Zealand in 1963, and the subsequent extirpation of several endemic species, the New Zealand Wildlife Service realised that, contrary to general belief at the time, introduced predators do not reach a natural balance with native species and that a safe breeding habitat for an increasing number of ‘at risk’ species was urgently needed. Off shore islands offered the best option for providing predator free habitat but there was a limited number of predator-free islands available and most were very small. Eradicating rodents on larger islands to provide a wider range and greater area of habitats was required and hand treating these larger areas using trapping and hand application of toxicants, the only methods available at the time, proved problematic and often impossible. Helicopters had been used to distribute bait for the control of rabbits and brushtail possums in the past but eradication of any particular predator species was considered ‘not feasible’. The development of a GPS-based aircraft guidance system, a suitable bait product, specialised bait delivery systems and second-generation anti-coagulant toxicants changed that. Now islands as large as South Georgia (3,900 km²) have been treated using this method

GEFPAS Project: 
No
Record Id: 
82532