Wilberforce Mathias Possum Control Operation

The Department of Conservation (DOC), as part of its ‘Battle for our Birds’ predator control programme, intends to apply cereal pellet baits containing sodium fluoroacetate (1080) in the Wilberforce Mathias area, located in North Canterbury. This control operation is being undertaken to protect the unique Totara-Cedar forests in the area from possums.

The treatment area covers up to 16,789 ha comprising of land situated in the headwater catchments of the Rakaia River, located approximately 120km West North West of Christchurch encompassing the upper catchments of the Wilberforce and Mathias rivers. The area includes the Central Southern Alps Wilberforce Conservation area and the Rangitata/Rakaia Head Waters Conservation area.

OSPRI advise that this operation is due to take place as soon as practicable from 7 September 2018 onwards, weather dependent.

They will first apply non-toxic pre-feed to increase the effectiveness of the operation. This will be followed by toxic 1080 baits (green in colour) usually after 7 - 10 days. Warning signs will be posted at all main points of public access and will remain in place while toxic baits are present and/or poisoned possum carcasses may be present. All instructions on the signs should be carefully followed.

An operational factsheet which includes information about the operation, the toxin being used, the precautions that should be taken and DOC contacts is enclosed with this letter. An additional map has been provided as the most up-to-date operational area.

For more information about DOC’s Battle for our Birds programme see http://www.doc.govt.nz/battleforourbirds

OSPRI are responsible for the operational delivery of this programme. If you have any operational questions, please contact OSPRI’s Northern South Island team on 03 363 3090 or email vectornsi@ospri.co.nz