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This Wednesday (Jun 24, 2020) thisquality will be releasing a groundbreaking mini-documentary Michael Kay Mike ILES examining a 1080 drop zone in the Tararuas.
The 1080 drop operation scheduled for late winter is run by both OSPRI at OSPRI’s Northern Tararua Operational Boundary & DOC (Department of Conservation) at DOC’s Tiakina Ngā Manu – Project Kākā Operational Boundary.
The episode releasing on Wednesday, 24 June, features Michael and Mike driving to the drop zone, arriving at a padlocked gate further blocking the gravel road leading to the Tararua Holiday Park.
Attached to the padlocked gate sits a sign attached from DOC telling visitors about the importance of protecting New Zealand’s native birds against pests, preparing for the upcoming ‘late winter’ aerial drop that is yet to have a planned date.
The sign says pest control is urgently needed as rodents are feeding off seed fall. According to DOC’s sign, more rodents means more Staots will reduce birdlife.
“Bird populations will recover over time,” DOC claims. This ultimately proves bio-diverse life is affected by 1080 drops and not introduced predators.
Michael Kay inspects the soil quality in four different areas at Project Kākā’s Operational Boundary zone, the soil quality looks light brown at two different spots showing no bounce of life and also at a third spot, only to find one Worm at the fourth spot, the grass was a lot greener & dirt was a lot richer compared to the third spot.
“What we have in a lot in the sort of the un-farmed area in New Zealand, we go back to the native grasses, and the lack of forages means that we sort of getting a strange effect, we have a very short shallow root, we have soil that’s actually not- it hasn’t had the manure from the foraging animal so it hasn’t had your cows or your sheep or even you can find sometimes even pig activity can start to get the soil really working and growing and as a great living organism, so, we have sort of what really is a very refined small fragile food web because of our soil health and the lack of diversity that we actually have.”
“Where people of walked, people would say well- soil scientists would say that that’s compaction, well it’s actually not compaction really it’s that we haven’t got the organic matter in the soil, so the soil its self is a pale colour. It’s just rained (before filming), and it’s not even got a really good aggregate, and that’s why the soil is not draining up here.”
“So what I am trying to tell you is that basically, when it rains, the water just runs straight off. So instead of the water going into a nice deep carbon sponge. If I would do this on my farm, I’ve got three or four worms here and the worms have made the soil even more as a sponge and they’ve started to eat this material (organic matter), and that changes that from being a shallow piece of organic matter that goes right down.”
“This soil is all formed from this herbage matter that is breaking down, but as I said, without foragers, it’s what we’ve got to understand, without foragers, we’re not like the great planes of California. Where ninety million buffalo used to eat all of what was there and over time built up a great big deep rich soil and carbon sponge, so, this 1080 that goes on; basically any poison that goes on here is washed straight off and it goes straight into these rivers. We’ve got powerful watersheds in our native forest, and it’s just going straight into our water supply,” says Michael Kay.
Birds depend on Bio-diverse life in the wild, and if there’s no food to feed off of, they also won’t return to an unreliable food source. Mike ILES on hearing minimal birds after an hour of walking in the bush was concerned for the bio-diversity lacking in the area,
“It’s taken us an hour to find birdlife, the reason that birds don’t propagate and spread is because there is no food here. We don’t have a lot of birds.”
“In this area of bush, where we’ve walked to for about an hour there is a slight very slight, you can just hear them in the background, but there’s not a lot of birdlife, so, that’s where we are at with our native bush at this time in the native forest.”
“You know, there is not much in the ground, the ground is very poor, and there’s not much in the trees, the trees are very sparse with birdlife. There should be a lot more birdlife than this, you shouldn’t have to walk for two or three hours to find one bird, and basically, that’s what we’ve had to do today,” says Mike ILES.
UPDATE: you can view the documentary by clicking here or below-