1080 is a Threat to Insects and Insectivorous Birds

Back in 1989 a DSIR entomologist Peter Notman carried out a study on 1080 poison widely used by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation and OSPRI, the latter with the department’s blessing. 

Abstract:- Compound 1080 is widely used in New Zealand for the control of wild animals. The tendency of 10980 to poison non-target birds and mammals is recognised, but its effects on invertebrates have gone mostly unnoticed. At least 9 invertebrate orders are prone to 1080 poisoning. Invertebrates have been observed eating baits and their habitats contaminated by residues leaching from baits and from animal by-products and carcasses. Poisoned insects provide a means of secondary poisoning for insectivores.
Therefore 1080 should not be used where susceptible invertebrate species or rare insectivores are found.
General. In the paper Peter Notman identified invertebrates affected by 1080. The list included Paraphanta snails, ants, moths, beetles, cockroaches and mites. In the Discussion section, it was said “the impact of 1080 on invertebrates is likely to be far reaching, considering both the wide range of invertebrates reported as being susceptible to 1080 and the variety of micro-habitats in which 1080 is accessible to insects. Invertebrates that eat the baits are likely to be poisoned, leaf feeders are vulnerable to translocated, root feeders are at risk from poison adsorbed on roots and soil-dwelling organisms might be poisoned from leached residues.
“Larvae are susceptible—the disruption of larval growth and numbers will have an effect on future invertebrate populations and if there is significant disruption—lizards and insectivorous birds might starve. Reduction of soil and litter-dwelling decomposers may affect nutrient cycles.”
Commenting on animal control by 1080, Peter Notman said “extermination is seldom achieved and repeated applications (of 1080) are necessary. The dilemma of using 1080 for animal control is that a large variety of non-target animals is prone to secondary poisoning.”
“In the light of the evidence of the effect of 1080 on invertebrates and the complex role that invertebrates play in the ecosystem, the unrestricted use of 1080 is likely to be disruptive to the environment and where endangered invertebrate species are known to be present, 1080 should be used judiciously, if at all.”
Footnote: CORANZ will be bringing other cases of “forgotten” research about 1080 to the fore. Below are extracts from “A Review of Invertebrate Poisoning by Compound 1080”
Among insectivorous birds are species such as bush robins, grey warbler, fatal, yellowed, rifleman, skylarks, pipits, tomtits and others.
Insectivorous birds such as the bush robins, are at risk by secondary poisoning.
Photo Tony Orman
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10 Responses to 1080 is a Threat to Insects and Insectivorous Birds

  1. Hugh Francis says:

    It is excellent work on CORANZ’s part to unearth these credible pieces io research that have been buried by DOC’s bureaucrats. Just a tiny country, NZ is the world’s biggest applicators of 1080 poison, using some 90 to 92% of the world’s usage. Surely that should make the M.P’s wonder and question?

  2. Jack Tuhawaiki says:

    The findings are not surprising for 1080 was originally patented in 1927 as an insecticide, but was not recommended for commercial use due to its high toxicity and persistence. The United States was the first country to use 1080 in pest destruction programmes, though its use is now banned there except for specific situations where permits are required. Its use is totally banned in the State of California and other countries.

  3. Joe Staedtler says:

    DOC is imposing on our forests a silence of death by saturating them with 1080, the late Bill Benfield, conservationist said.
    “Poison is blind and 1080 kills any creature that requires oxygen to metabolise its food; not only that, it kills slowly and cruelly. That includes all forest birds and insects.” Insects are vital to the breakdown of leaf litter and working it into the soil, so even the health of the forest itself is under attack from 1080.

  4. "Bushman" says:

    Agree Joe, Jack and Hugh. The poison kills some species but not others. Certainly both possum and rats are severely knocked back by 1080, possums usually take years to recover, but prolific rats recover in a year or less to former level. Landcare Research shows 3 years later they are about 3 times original numbers i.e. before poison. So DOC achieves nothing and in fact stimulates a massive rat population.
    Stoats are not scavengers, and so are little affected, there is even evidence they are more common as a consequence of 1080 poisoning.
    There is a massive overkill that is being applied to our forests. Insects and native birds are a major kill.

  5. Dave Rhodes says:

    Last summer, driving through Aorangi Forest Park in the lower Wairarapa, passing through the native bush, it was so eerily silent. No birdlife, no insects and no cicadas (even though the height of the season).
    Yet coming to a small clearing in the heart, for a few hundred metres, the sound was broken by an enormous chorus of cicadas chirping. What a pleasant encounter – only for it to fall silent immediately beyond.
    Must have been an area the recent 1080 drop had missed.
    Better luck next time DOC!!!
    Wonder what happened to all those insectivorous birds?

    • Charles Henry says:

      Was the same in Pureora last time I was there – total silence. The Sinclair (SF70) wasn’t any better.

  6. Bud jones JonesQSM says:

    So often we hear ludicrous threats to birds by pest animals. When in reality the real threat is from the stupid humans that would indiscriminately broad cast a universal non target poison,[developed as insecticide], across a vast wilderness in the mis guided belief of almost religious fervor that this will be the saviour of birds, when killing off the bird’s insect food supply & any bird’s possible uptake of poison by secondary ingestion.TALK ABOUT UNINTENDED CONSEQUNCES!!!Pure backward thinking which is becoming our specialty as we toss out 2000 years of learning,science & philosophy literacy/numerousy.
    Ushering in apartheid governance & stone age, [yet to invent the wheel], hokus pokus belonging more happily with voodoo.

  7. Lew says:

    Can’t believe the users of 1080 can be so dumb particularly the DoC of the consequences on insects when using the stuff.

  8. Jim Hilton Batchelor Science Hons Biology 1971 says:

    If more people understood propaganda and how easy it is to trick people into believing black is white the use of 1080 and similar poisons would stop overnight. The Government Departments responsible for the constant propaganda about the benefits of poisoning ( mainly DoC & MPI) have become cults where many of the employees (devotees) believe the propaganda and spin from their bosses. Do the bosses believe the spin? No, they follow the money. I can remember learning about propaganda at secondary school. Maybe they don’t teach it anymore? maybe the spin doctors have become more expert at fooling people? maybe our education system has been dumbed down? There are lots of questions but the tragedy is the poisoning continues and our wildlife is killed. Frogs are now a distant memory for those old enough to remember how common they were. Moths used to cover the windscreens of cars in the summers of yesteryear but the “government experts” tell us they will come back if we are patient and they can broadcast yet more poison over a bigger area and with improved technology. Yeah right.

  9. Bud jones JonesQSM says:

    Writers here above are right on to this one.Could I please point out the missing cog in this wheel?
    It is that old one,now even a song –“Money, Money Money”!
    When dealing with evil,1080, as we are here, a hoodwinked public having their purse pilfered.Just need to follow the trail back to the source; the robbers always have money driving the wheels,no surpriseI bet!
    Jobs, livelihoods, research grants reputations, manufacture,suppliers transport, delivery GST skimming, & all manner of related infrastucture are part of the energy keeping the money/wheels go-round churning.1080 doesn’t save birds.It’s amassive rort scheme to make mountains of money largely from the public purse or duped guilt agencies of hand wringing wannabe do-gooders, getting all warn & fuzzy.

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