Mt Messenger bypass contractors are planning a series of 1080 drops as they forge ahead with the project’s pest control programme.
Since last August, the Mt Messenger Alliance team has created more than 70km of a targeted 250km of pest management tracks, and fitted 850 bait stations in damaged forest around the new section of State Highway 3 in Taranaki.
In addition, more than 170 wild goats have been culled from the project area and the adjacent Parininihi block.
Meanwhile, opponents of the new stretch of road will head back to court next week.
Mt Messenger Alliance lead ecologist Roger MacGibbon said great progress had been made on the project’s ground breaking pest control programme since work began last August.
The achievements to date would be enhanced further this winter with an aerial drop of 1080 over the project area and the nearby Parininihi, in a joint operation with the Department of Conservation.
Delivered at regular intervals in the area since 1992, the cereal pellets containing biodegradable 1080 toxin was the only viable pest control method in large, remote, forest-covered, and rugged areas, MacGibbon said.
MacGibbon said the 1080 drop was supported by project partner Ngāti Tama, as kaitiaki and mana whenua who were committed to safeguarding the life expectancy and reproduction of taonga species in the project area and Parininihi.
Thirty-two hectares of forest, wetland and riparian planting will be undertaken, comprising approximately 120,000 plants.