North Island aerial operations take off

Date 18 June 2020

Aerial 1080 possum control operations for the North Island began on a frosty morning in Hawke’s Bay this week.

The Ahimanawa/Te Awahohonu operation in the Central North Island high country east of Lake Taupo is an area of wildlife TB infection implicated in the Hawke’s Bay cluster of livestock infections that OSPRI has been managing over the past year.

The prefeed was completed this week, and toxic baits containing 1080 will follow when a suitable weather window opens in the next few weeks.

Aerial operations then continue through the winter around the rest of the North Island. After the 32,000-hectare Ahimanawa/Te Awahohonu has been completed, aerial ops are scheduled for nearby Waitara Valley 6,000ha and Waipunga 12,600ha.

The Northern Tararua predator control operation in collaboration with DOC’s Project Kaka will cover 70,000ha between the Manawatu and Wairarapa in late July and August.

Further into the spring, in August and September, Central North Island operations for Timihanga (9,900ha) and Turangi 4B/C (9,000ha) will complete the season for OSPRI’s aerial disease management operations programme.