Kea killed by 1080 not mentioned
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