NOTIFICATION of pending toxin application (ZIP operation in Perth Valley Project)

ZIP has notified its intention to aerially apply the toxin Sodium Fluoroacetate (1080) for the purpose of completely removing possums in the upper Perth Valley area. The operation is part of the ZIP-led research and development project to test and refine an approach to completely remove possums from large areas and prevent them from re-establishing. The project will also seek to develop this approach for ship rats and stoats. 

Pending weather, it is intended to begin this work on Saturday (13 April) with operations expected to get underway by 8am. It is anticipated that baiting operations will take 2 days, so it should be completed by Sunday evening. 

The bait to be used is cylindrical cereal pellets (approx. 16mm long, weighing approx 6g) with a toxic loading of 1.5g/kg sodium fluoroacetate (1080), and dyed green. The bait will be applied to the project area by GPS-guided helicopters using under-slung buckets. 

During the baiting operation (including the day prior), no helicopter landings are allowed at Scone Hut. ZIP will have a staff member there to advise any visitors of the pending baiting operation. The Perth Valley Track, from just beyond Nolan's Hut, will also be closed during this time - with a staff member present to advise anyone seeking to enter the operational area. 

There will be warning signs in place - at the gate by the Whataroa road end, before the Whataroa track begins; at the operational boundary edge; and at Scone Hut - to notify the public of the baiting operation, and to indicate pesticide residues may still be present in bait or animals. Dogs should be kept under strict control at all times and have no access to the operational area, as they are highly susceptible to poisoning. ZIP remind you that the bait should not be touched if encountered, and it is an offence to interfere with the operation (e.g. remove warning signs etc). 

The public are advised to not take any wild animals for human consumption from within the operational area - including the buffer zone around the site. Advice on hunting restrictions can be found on the DOC Pesticides Summary page (see: https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/pests-and-threats/pesticide-summaries/). 

If you have any questions, please contact info@zip.org.nz and ZIP will respond as soon as possible.