Kea killed by 1080 not men­tioned

The Dominion Post - - Opinion -

I noted in your ar­ti­cle on the kea be­ing named bird of the year (Kea ruf­fles a few feath­ers to take win, Oct 25) that these en­dan­gered moun­tain par­rots are put at risk by preda­tors, cars, "get­ting stuck", ill­ness from hu­man food, and lead poi­son­ing from eat­ing nails.

Yet nowhere in the ar­ti­cle was there men­tion of the kea’s sig­nif­i­cant risk to 1080 poi­son.

The De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion last year re­leased doc­u­ments un­der the Of­fi­cial In­for­ma­tion Act iden­ti­fy­ing the known deaths of 24 kea fol­low­ing 1080 drops in re­cent years (be­tween May 2008 and Novem­ber 2015).

One study in 2013 fol­lowed 34 mon­i­tored kea in a poi­son-drop area. Five of them were found dead af­ter the drop, and anal­y­sis con­firmed 1080 as the cause of death. That’s a mor­tal­ity rate of nearly 15 per cent.

There are only a few thou­sand of these mag­nif­i­cent, cheeky par­rots left on the planet.

Can we af­ford to poi­son 15 per cent of them ev­ery time we drop 1080 over their homes?

This is "con­ser­va­tion" at its worst.

And choos­ing not to even men­tion 1080, along with cars and "get­ting stuck", as risk fac­tors threat­en­ing the kea’s sur­vival in your story is mis­lead­ing, to say the least. Su­san Thrasher Para­pa­raumu Beach

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