Wellington, New Zealand

Since 1987, I have assisted the Cook Islands Conservation/Environment Service and, more recently, the Takitumu Conservation Area Project and the Avifauna Conservation Programme of the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) to plan and implement a recovery programme for the kakerori, a critically endangered forest bird endemic to Rarotonga. In 1989, the kakerori was one of the 10 rarest birds in the world, and classified as 'critically endangered' (Collar et al. 1994) with a population of just 29 birds. I calculated

This report is the first stage in a three-stage development of a Border Control Programme for aquatic plants that have the potential to become ecological weeds in New Zealand.

In the May 1999 budget, the New Zealand Government announced that an extra $6.6 million over five years would be given to the Department of Conservation to fund an integrated stoat control research programme.

This is the final report describing the results from the second and third years of a three-year programme to determine the costs and benefits of aerial 1080 possum control operations to North Island robins (Petroica australis longipes) and moreporks (Ninox novaeseelandiae) in Pureora Forest Park, North Island, New Zealand. During this study robins were individually colour-banded, and moreporks radio-tagged in both treatment and non-treatment study areas. A poison operation using carrot baits in August 1997 covered 8577 ha and incorporated the 300 ha Waimanoa study area.

There are five toxicants (brodifacoum, bromadialone, coumatetralyl, diphacinone, and flocoumafen) registered for rodent control in New Zealand. They are all anticoagulants and are available in water-resistant bait formulations (i.e. wax coating, wax block, or egg). Several new rodenticide products, which are currently in the process of being developed or registered, including a new anticoagulant difethialone, have also been identified.

The Tahiti flycatcher (Pomarea nigra) is one of several monarch flycatcher species in the Polynesian genus Pomarea, all of which are threatened. The Tahiti flycatcher is currently known from only the western side of Tahiti where, during the 1998-99 season, at least 24 individuals, including 10 pairs, were located in four valleys (Blanvillain 1999). Although ten nests were protected from rats in 1998-99, only three were successful in fledging young. Two of these young apparently disappeared one week after fledging and the third, two months after fledging (Blanvillain 1999).

Although Talon® baits containing brodifacoum have been used successfully in eradicating rats from some of New Zealand’s offshore islands, little is known about any environmental effects of this toxin. We sampled invertebrates, blackbirds, soil, and water at intervals of 2 days to 9 months to determine whether brodifacoum residues were present after aerial distribution of Talon® 20P cereal pellets on Red Mercury Island and after bait-station use of Talon® 50WB wax-coated cereal blocks on Coppermine Island.

Questions on brodifacoum bait and impacts on the environment after decomposition, or leakage to water supply, etc.