Find out more about the use of biodegradable 1080 poison in New Zealand to control pests and protect New Zealand's native forests and wildlife.
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What is 1080?
1080 protects New Zealand's native forests and wildlife
1080 is one part of the pest control toolkit
1080 has specific benefits for pest control
1080 benefits New Zealand's economy
Potential impacts of 1080 use are managed
1080 and Maori interests
1080 is a chemical reproduction of a naturally-occurring, biodegradable poison that plants use to discourage browsing animals. It is otherwise known as sodium monofluoracetate.
It is found in Australian, South American and African plants. Low concentrations are also found naturally in tea.
When consumed in high doses, 1080 disrupts the metabolic pathway by which animals extract energy from food and leads to death from cardiac or respiratory failure.
Introduced predators raid native bird nests and eat eggs and chicks
Landcare Research scientists estimate over 25 million native birds are killed each year by imported predators such as possums, rats and stoats. Without intervention, these predators will kill nine out of 10 North Island brown kiwi chicks born in the wild before they are one year old.
Dozens of native bird species are fighting for survival against introduced predators.
Learn more about the need for pest control
The aerial application of 1080 bait is one of a range of tools and techniques the Department of Conservation (DOC) uses to control pests. DOC also uses ground control methods – traps, bait stations and culling. It selects the most effective tool for the terrain and threat, with ground control methods the most widely used. However, at present, aerial application of 1080 is the most cost effective alternative for efficient pest control in remote and/or difficult country.
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New Zealand has no native land mammals except for two species of bat. As 1080 is a poison that affects mammals, it well suited for use in New Zealand to target introduced predators such as possums, stoats and rats.
1080 doesn't stay in waterways so animals like crayfish are unaffected
Its benefits include:
- It’s biodegradable - as a natural chemical it is broken down naturally by the environment and doesn’t stay in the soil or waterways
- It’s cost effective - a recent 1080 operation covering 30,000 ha in the Cascade South Westland, put the cost at $17 per hectare and the equivalent ground control at $48 per hectare - a saving of $900,000
- It’s an efficient way to control large, remote and rugged areas
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Pest control benefits our tourism and farming industries.
Learn more about the economic impacts of 1080
All 1080 operations are strictly controlled
1080 is our most intensively researched pest control poison, and has been used in New Zealand since the 1950s. But as with all pest control methods, there are potential disadvantages to its use. Find out more about these disadvantages and how they are managed:
Maori have a special relationship with the environment.
Find information relevant to Maori concerns about 1080