Brook Sanctuary delays bait drop

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The Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust’s controversial pest removal programme has been deferred until next winter, due to wet weather delaying the completion of the pest-proof fence.

In May, the trust received resource consent to conduct aerial drops of brodifacoum, a toxin manufactured for eradicating mammalian pests, as part of its long-term plan to create a pest-free habitat in Nelson.

The sanctuary initially planned the operation to take place between July and October this year, but trust general manager Hudson Dodd says a wet winter has put work behind schedule.

They have until September 30 next year to complete the operation under the current consent.

“We knew we were looking at a tight time frame for this year,” says Hudson. “Our latest forecasts indicate the pest-proof fence is not going to be completed before the recommended deadline for the highest chance of a successful operation, which is October 31.”

Best practice states that aerial brodifacoum operations should be conducted between May and October, and Hudson says contractors and volunteer teams have been working as hard as possible to complete the fence.

“The unfortunate fact is that, because of this abnormally wet winter, we’re behind schedule,” he says.