Great Barrier Island residents fighting against poison drop on nearby Rakitu Island

Great Barrier Island residents are fighting plans for a mass poison drop aimed at eradicating pests.

More than half the adult population of the outer Hauraki Gulf Island has signed a petition opposing the spread of the poison on nearby Rakitu Island.

Petition supporters favour trapping instead, however the Department of Conservation said Rakitu Island is too big for that to work.

Department of Conservation’s Paul McArthur said other islands in the Hauraki Gulf have benefited from the drop of brodifacoum poison.

"They are thriving, amazing islands with great species on them," Mr McArthur said.

The Department of Conservation is planning on dropping 12kg via two aerial drops per hectare this winter. 

More than half the adult population has signed a petition against the drop, but DOC says there's no better way to control pests. Source: 1 NEWS



Time to stop taking bread to the pond - deadly disease ravaging duck population

A duck rescue group is worried that a deadly disease, which is killing off hundreds of birds in Auckland parks, could also spread to other animals.

The birds have been struck down by avian botulism, which is produced when natural bacteria heats up in the water.

The disease is made worse by the actions of the public - sharing leftover bread with ducks is causing harm to the animals. 

Park local Chris Yoxall said humans tend to make it worse, particularly in the ponds.

"Lots of people feed the ducks and they're fed very poor food," he said.

"White bread in particular just isn't good for ducks."

Even if the bread is not eaten right away, it still harbours the disease, meaning ducks that eat it days later can become critically ill or die.

Avian botulism is killing many ducks, and the actions of the public are likely to blame. Source: 1 NEWS

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Thick coating of snow on Tauranga beach - and right in the middle of summer

The snow was trucked in from Ruapehu as a promotion for the ski-field there. Source: 1 NEWS