Friday, 22 May 2015

How to Find and Read a Pesticide Summary

The pesticide summaries for all regions of New Zealand can be found here on the DOC website. These pesticide summaries do not include details on herbicides for control of plants, or pesticides for rodent control in huts or buildings. If you have any concerns always contact the DOC office for the area you are planning to tramp in.

The pesticide summary can look quite intimidating at first glance, but it is divided into two main parts:
  •          Areas where pesticides have been laid upon lands administered by the Department of Conservation
  •          Areas where pesticides will be laid upon lands administered by the Department of Conservation over the next four months.

Be careful to check the dates you are travelling to see whether any operations are due to start before you arrive.

Below is an example of a section of a pesticide summary. This shows ES 34. This can be cross-referenced with the detailed maps to show a TB Free NZ Possum Control Block in the Muangatuas.




Detailed maps of an area are also available from the area pesticide summaries page.





Example of a detailed map. This shows ES 34, which can be cross referenced on the Pesticide Summary document to determine which pesticides are being used in this area (see above).

In this case there are four different pesticide application methods, of two different poisons. The stated date of application is from the 7th April 2014-30th November 2014, so take adequate precautions from the 7th of April 2014 onwards. The area will be monitored for bait and carcasses to determine if pesticide residues are still present.

In this example, the cyanide in the environment will be expected to have disappeared by the end of March 2015 (4 months after 30 November 2014), and the 1080 will be expected to have disappeared by the end of July 2015 (8 months after 30 November 2014). This period may be longer if the weather has been cold and dry, and shorter if the weather has been warm and wet. Once it is established that the any remaining bait, and carcasses have decomposed, then the warning signs will be removed (for more information on the criteria used to determine when an area is clear, see here).

Once the warning signs are removed, the area is again safe for you and your dog. Some people will choose to go tramping before signs are removed using muzzles to prevent dogs eating poisoned carcasses, but I do not recommend this.

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