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  1. The author of this article is wasting his time with the D.P.I.W. He could be the new Enid Blyton.
    Reality is 1080 meat based baits put Devils and Quolls and other animals at risk of death.
    Raptor expert? Mr. Mooney would then surely know the effects 1080 had on the American Bald Eagle; it was banned in the U.S.A in 1972 by President Nixon because it was decimating populations of Eagles thru’ secondary and primary poisoning.
    Above all people Nick I would have thought you would have been opposed to 1080 more than anyone else. And why do you and some of your colleagues persist with the cub import/release theory? As recently as ABC breakfast program - 15th November.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  24/11/06  at  08:56 AM
  2. Hope this media statement was approved by the Departmental Secretary or Minister Nick. Another fine example of Tasmanian double standards. Its OK for Departmental employees to delve into the media if they are pushing the Government wagon but it’s an offence under the crimes act for those who want to comment on the truth. The reality is that if this article was anti- 1080/forestry/government policy, then Nick would have been asked to clear his desk. Fine for some.

    Posted by Some more equal  on  24/11/06  at  09:35 AM
  3. I might be a bit thick, and I’m certainly not an expert on biochemistry and toxins, but could somebody please put me straight on this whole question of 1080?

    Wallabies and other native fauna ate young eucalypts and other flora for millennia and there was no resulting ecological imbalance.  Why do the trees suddenly have to be protected?

    Posted by Justa Bloke  on  24/11/06  at  10:42 AM
  4. Whilst Nick is entitled to his views this article is clearly pandering to his masters.
    This is clearly ‘Thylacine logic’...i.e selective use of information to support or refute a subjectively held view irrespective of the reality on the ground.
    To sum it up…I feel that Nick believes that “The end (no foxes) justifies the means”

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  24/11/06  at  11:32 AM
  5. Yes, 1080 poisoned bald eagles but no species is a model for any other species in this regard; even the wedge-tailed eagle is in a different genus.

    The amount of total nonsense spouted about 1080 by conspiracy theorists and extreme greens - whether the issue is devils, foxes, forestry, whatever - is amazing.  I reckon that at most 10% of the public comment about this toxin is anywhere near accurate.  I’d like to thank Nick for putting the above information (some of which I have looked up and referred to before) in an easy to find place and have bookmarked it for future reference.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  24/11/06  at  05:06 PM
  6. Oh - so now you’re a toxicology expert Kev. Perhaps they put 1080 in snail baits? How are those slugs going anyway? The only thing one can say about the above article is that DPIWE may have agreed to pay for Nick’s annual subscription to Wildlife Research - hardly the International Journal of Toxicology or the Journal of the American College of Toxicology. Less art of geography please and more hard science.

    Posted by Some more equal  on  24/11/06  at  07:21 PM
  7. “Some more equal”‘s post 6 is nothing but an especially smallminded ad hominem from some craven anonymous dill making no attempt to debate the issues.  (Of course I have nothing necessarily against ad hominems in general but they must be accompanied by attempts to debate the point!) SME’s style is far too similar to that of John Wayward.  Whenever someone brings up snails as a cheap shot like that, I can safely conclude that they are a complete pimplebrain with no redeeming personality features.  Whoever SME is, it should ban itself from the internet and indeed all forms of social life in the interests of all, especially itself, forever.

    You don’t have to be an expert on 1080 - a basic general science understanding will do it - to realise that most of what is spouted about the toxin in public is bull.  Nor does one need to be an expert to be familiar with what the actual established research findings are by experts in other areas.  If this anonymous dullard or anybody else has any evidence contrary to the established research findings they should bring it up now, or else be seen for what they are: science-allergic dimwits with political axes to grind.

    Justa Bloke: two main reasons - firstly, commercial forestry involves growing trees faster than they would normally regenerate naturally, and secondly, clearance of coupes leaves large open areas which soon become natural magnets for high population densities of browsers.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  25/11/06  at  02:28 AM
  8. DPIW is convinced that it must apply the use of 1080 baits as its ‘frontline’ tool in its fight against the establishment of foxes in Tasmania.

    A DPIW fox commentator to the media has stated that there are up to 300 foxes living across the Tasmanian landscape. We are told of the very reliable fox sighting reports from cleared agricultural districts, forested areas and even from well inside national parks.

    With up to 300 live foxes now estimated to be in Tasmania, we have fox remains retrieved off Tasmanian roads at Burnie (2003), Lillico (2006) and now Glen Esk Road (2006), plus the famous Symmons Plains (2001) decomposed fox with the hair of Tasmanian long-tail rat in its gut. [This critical forensic sample has since disappeared.]

    From the beginning there has been a difficulty in the authenticity of the fox evidence that DPIW has been relying on.

    Well over 6 weeks ago I reported to the Government that the most recent fox carcass retrieved from the side of the Glen Esk Road on 1 August 2006 was, in my professional opinion as a pathologist, a crude and obvious hoax. By contrast the Department and the TFGA went public and the incident was enthusiastically reported in the media as the ‘real deal’, ‘dead certain’ and ‘hard proof’.

    This was a long dead fox, not a recently killed ‘fresh’ ‘warm’ fox.

    Answers to questions in the Tasmanian Parliament last week confirm to me that conveniently the documented reporting of this incident is now being reinterpreted in a very illogical way!

    So confusing!

    Was the fox ‘alive’ when it ‘crossed’ the road?

    Did this fox get killed at the site where DPIW are told the witnesses ‘think’ found it or was it moved there from somewhere else?

    So much confusion!

    No, I believe this is approach is totally unacceptable. This is not properly constituted evidence to make an ambit claim for a $56 million 10-year budget to rid Tasmania of foxes.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  25/11/06  at  07:17 AM
  9. Once agian, the established issue of residual organ damage from sub-lethal doses of 1080 is missing from a situation where a number of the non-target consumers are already on threatened species schedules. 

    One would have thought this might have been considered before the decision to decrease the bait burial depth from 150 to 50 mm.

    Despite evidence that 1080 poisoning is also very painful, animal welfare didn’t get a mention either.  Still, a solid effort by Tasmanian standards.

    John Hayward

    Posted by john Hayward  on  25/11/06  at  10:41 AM
  10. Thanks a lot for this, Nick and good to have a lot of the information in one article.

    I would be interested to look at information on the long term effects of small doses of 1080 on the animals listed above including immunotoxicity.

    What information is there on the effects of 1080 when combined with the other pesticides, detergents and wetting agents that are widely used in the same environment? How much research has been done on the effects of these chemicals on native animals?

    Are there any long term monitoring programmes? How is the food chain affected and how was this determined?

    Good to see this information becoming more readily available, and look forward to it continuing.

    Posted by alison bleaney  on  25/11/06  at  10:48 AM
  11. “Eagles in America have no resistance to 1080 because plants containing the chemical  are not there, unlike Australia. Hence American species have had no historic exposure and have developed no resisitance; unlike Australian birds and animals. 1080 has not been universely banned in America; it is still used in  for coyote control in several states.

    Nick Mooney

    Posted by Nick Mooney  on  25/11/06  at  12:03 PM
  12. Re #7 “clearance of coupes leaves large open areas which soon become natural magnets for high population densities of browsers”.

    A more accurate way of putting it might be: “the habitat that animals relied on for food has been destroyed and the only food source that remains is young trees grown for tax breaks”

    Posted by kate  on  25/11/06  at  12:05 PM
  13. John, “established issue of residual organ damage from sub-lethal doses of 1080”?  What’s your evidence?

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  25/11/06  at  12:07 PM
  14. Kate, what’s your evidence that that “might be” (whatever that means) a more accurate way of putting it?

    Are you trying to tell us that herbivorous grazing mammals rely on mature closed wet forests for their food supply?  If so what are you suggesting that they eat in there?

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  25/11/06  at  02:22 PM
  15. Thanks, Kevin, for answering my question.

    It seems that you have given a perfect reason for severely limiting commercial forestry. 

    Second pont:  if the wallabies etc congregate in great density in such opened up areas, why not cull them there for meat by shooting or snaring?

    Posted by Justa Bloke  on  25/11/06  at  02:25 PM
  16. All you 1080 lovers should try a bit on your next salad.
    As for saying American animals are not resistant to 1080 because the plants that contain the chemical are not found there is correct,but they are not found in Tasmania or south eastern Australia either. 
    The Gastrolobium plants that 1080 is obtained from are only found in Western Australia and South Africa.
    Maybe a shock/horror video of some animals that have taken 1080 baits might help the sleeping patterns of the 1080 lovers. Sick,sick,sick.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  25/11/06  at  06:06 PM
  17. I find it irritating that people cannot just accept that Nick Mooney knows what he is talking about and the rest of us pretty much don’t in relation to the issue.

    All of this means that the detractors add to the problem and do not offer solutions.

    If you have a solution that works tell Nick. If you don’t have a proven solution that works then leave it alone so you don’t continue to look foolish.

    Get with the program people and support Nick

    Posted by hill dweller  on  25/11/06  at  07:41 PM
  18. Nice spleen-spray Kev. My comments did not decline to the base-level of childish name calling as yours did. However you still avoided my queries. Namely you did not explain your qualifications in toxicology. Correct me if I am wrong (which you will even if I wasnt), but your expertise falls in the discipline of Geography and Zoology. Perhaps you can tell us how many subjects in inorganic chemistry you completed upto year 3 of your undergraduate. I also have a vague recollection that Geograghy was taken out of the Arts Schedule at UTAS and plonked in the Science Schedule in 1999. Does this mean your undergraduate qualification is in fact BA?

    I would consider a scientific expert in any field to have scores, if not hundreds, of refereed publications in respected international journals. Can you tell us about your publication record? (Hint - the Linean Society of Tasmania doesnt fit into the former category - see the definitions of research intensivity).

    Posted by some more equal  on  25/11/06  at  08:28 PM
  19. Hill Dweller #17 are you suggesting that all of “the rest of us” don’t know what we are talking about?
    I for one am prepared to debate the fox issue any where,any time with any one; in fact bring it on.
    The solutions you speak of, do they allow fabrication and selective use of “evidence” along with information given to the media which is continually proven to be only speculation and very often untrue?
    The similarities between the “Thylacine logic” and the “fox logic” are in most instances very disturbing.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  26/11/06  at  02:30 AM
  20. Dr Kev, last time I looked possums lived in trees….

    And Re #11 and 16: from DPIW website “Compound 1080 or sodium monofluoroacetate, is a naturally occurring compound produced by many species of Australian plant. Sodium monofluoroacetate occurs naturally in about 40 native plant species in Australia, primarily of the genera, Gastralobium, which grow in Western Australia, across northern Australia in the Northern Territory and in central Queensland. No fluoroacetate bearing plants are known to occur in Tasmania or the other southern States.”

    Posted by kate  on  26/11/06  at  09:24 AM
  21. Would Nick Mooney care to tell us how Tasmanian animals might have developed resistance to 1080 (the implication in his post #11)  Perhaps they have developed it by exposure to baits?

    Posted by kate  on  26/11/06  at  09:29 AM
  22. Here are some further observations from John McIlroy’s highly qualified toxicology studies and LD (Lethal Dose) calculations.

    Clinical observations that were made on the poisoned animals.

    “Most commonly, affected animals suddenly became hyperexcited, with rapid breathing, bouts of trembling and sometimes periodic circling within their cages.  Again, some animals may then recover while others begin to vomit, convulse, or both.  With some animals, PARTICULARLY THE EASTERN NATIVE AND TIGER CATS AND TASMANIAN DEVILS, the first symptoms is the sudden onset of vomiting”

    “Convulsions were triggered by disturbance, such as the opening of a door, sudden movement by an observer, or convulsion by a neighbouring animal.  In rough order, these symptoms include: restlessness; increased hyperexciteability or response to stimuli; bouts of trembling; rapid, shallow breathing; incontinence [involuntary passing of urine and/or faeces] or diarrhoea; excessive salivation; twitching of the facial muscles; nystagmus (involuntary eyeball movement exposing the whites of the eyes) or bulging eyes with large (dilated) pupils and rapid blinking plus, in domestic cats, discharge of mucus from the eyes); slight lack of coordination or balance; abrupt bouts of vocalisation; and finally, sudden burst of violent activity such as racing around the cage, or biting the cage mesh or other objects.  All affected animals then fall to the ground in a tetanic seizure, with hind limbs or all four limbs and sometimes the tail extended rigidly from their arched bodies.  At other times the front feet are clasped together, clenched or used to scratch frantically at the cage walls.  This tonic phase is then followed by a clonic phase in which the animals lie and kick and ‘paddle’ with the front legs and sometimes squeal, crawl around or bite at objects.  During this phase the tongue and penis may be extruded, the eyes rolled back so that only the whites show and the teeth are ground together.  Breathing is rapid but laboured, with some animals partly choking on their saliva.  Finally such animals begin to relax, breathing more slowly and shallowly and lying quietly with the hind legs still extended but apparently semiparalysed (paresis).

    From then on individual animals either: (1) gradually recover; (2) die shortly afterwards; (3) after a short or long delay (e.g. 5 min or 3-4 hours) experience another one or two series of convulsions and then die shortly afterwards or eventually recover; (4) remain lying quietly, scarcely breathing or moving, UNTIL DEATH UP TO 6 DAYS LATER.”

    With regard to birds, McIlroy noted:

    Some birds poisoned with 1080 either vomited (little crow, Corvus bennetti; emu, Dromaius novaehollandiae; wedge-tailed eagle, Aquila audux; sulphur-crested cockatoo, Cacatua galerita) or had saliva or fluid dripping from their beaks (Pacific black duck, Anas superciliosa; ...The onset of convulsions was preceded by rapid panting, squawking, shrieking or other vocalizations and then a brief period (5-120seconds) of violent wing flapping, loss of balance, or paddling or running motions with the feet.  Birds then fell to the ground while undergoing tetanic seizures, breathing slowly and laboriously, and having wings and tail outstretched.
    Does any thing deserve to die in this manner?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  26/11/06  at  11:47 AM
  23. kate: possums do indeed live up trees but wallabies, pademelons, wombats etc do not.

    Justa Bloke: I understand shooting is one alternative being explored but struggles for viability. 

    kate and Ian: you forget that while 1080-bearing plants are not currently found in Tasmania, Tasmania has in the past been connected to mainland Australia. 

    SME - cheap personal shots re snails and slugs already bury you way below the basement so to suggest that any response to that is “childish” is just pathetic trolling. Your point about my qualifications has already been dealt with in my post #7, pointing out that your ad hominem attacks are irrelevant because one does not need to be an expert to read what experts have said and therefore see how idiotic most of the rubbish being spouted is.

    As it happens your irrelevant personal attacks contain a large number of highly amusing factual errors, further confirming the view of you that I formed in my previous reply to your idiotic drivel.  If anything your errors suggest I underestimated just what a clueless dolt you really are.

    When I first enrolled as an undergrad in 1990, various Geography and Environmental Studies units could be taken as main-schedule parts of either a BSc or a BA, provided that one took the version of Geography with a practical component (there was also a version without pracs available in the BA but not the BSc).  As such your speculation that my undergrad qualification must have been a BA on account of studying geography is unfounded.

    But as it happens my first qualification *was* in fact a BA - I have a very diverse academic background and in fact majored in political science (chiefly political thought) and philosophy before crossing back to science in my subsequent qualifications.

    Your assumption that an “expert” must have “scores, if not hundreds, of refereed publications in respected international journals” is, of course, more ignorant bullshit; many people are experts on something without publishing a single refereed paper.  Furthermore there is no Linnean (which you misspell) Society of Tasmania and I have not as yet published in its nearest equivalent, the Royal Society.  Finally working as a consultant rather than an academic I have had few recent incentives to write papers and am currently writing only one or two per year.  My refereed publication tally (either authored or co-authored), therefore, I must confess, stands at the modest figure of nineteen (and no, they’re not all “local”.)

    My twentieth publication will be in the new field of antipsychology (the scientific study of human mindlessness) and will be entitled “Terminal Clue Aversion In Internet Trolls With Sub-Retardation Level Intelligence Quotients”.  SME will be one of my research subjects. An ethical clearance is not required for experiments conducted on malignant bacteria. ;)

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  26/11/06  at  02:54 PM
  24. Nick might reflect that Tasmania has no fluorocatate-producing plants, that 1080 is very effective against most native Tasmanian mammals, and that local eagles probably would not have encountered the stuff since the last ice age.

    As for the query of Dr Kev, iron-stomached champion of godforsaken causes, the evidence of residual organ damage from sublethal 1080 exposure can be found in work by Eason, Goonoratne et al, who remark on the amazingly little research into this issue.  Most 1080 research, of course, is conducted by people in the pay of people who use it.

    It has been observed that sheep fed 20-25% of their 1080 LD50 for 3-7 days displayed macroscopic lesions in the heart. Testes are even more sensitive.  It wouild be amazing if something so extremely toxic left no lasting damage.

    If you are confident in your scepticism of virtually all criticism of your beloved woodchip industry, you should try some sub-lethal testing on yourself.

    John Hayward

    Posted by john Hayward  on  26/11/06  at  03:08 PM
  25. Some more equal seems to have a particular, personal beef with Dr Bonham. I searched for some actual contribution of substance in his posts, but came up empty. Vendetta posts reflect poorly Mr SME.

    You also show your ignorance. There are in fact very few papers on 1080 and marsupials and any other Australian Fauna (sadly), so you are unlikely to find your toxiclogist expert in this area with scores or hundreds of papers that are directly relevant. If you are talking about Australian toxicologists with scores or hundreds of papers in general, well there are very few indeed and none concerned with 1080. Meanwhile, a contribution from a life sciences PhD with experience in the real world of Oz fauna should be considered as valid and valuable.

    Nick Mooney also does an excellent job of reviewing the literature as it stands, plus there is useful local anectdotal information as well.

    Unfortunately, the usual uneducated thick-heads have all thrown in their ill-informed opinions, as per usual. This is the trite obfuscation that would be laughable if it wasn’t indicative of a science-hating cabal within the Greens and like-minded zealots. I am just waiting for some moron to start bleating on about the ‘precautionary principle’....

    Posted by Tomas  on  26/11/06  at  09:53 PM
  26. Charming individual, aren’t you Mr Wayward? 

    My request for evidence was simply because I had not seen anyone link such claims to actual research in public debate before, and because so much of what is spouted about 1080 is so clearly nonsense (surprising when the case against it based on welfare grounds alone is so strong, as Ian points out).  When you referred to something as an “established issue” I had no way of knowing whether you were talking about a known research finding or beating up speculation.  Perhaps had your past record with regard to accuracy in public debate (especially concerning my research and work record) not been so abysmal I might have been more trusting of what you said, but you should know very well why I am not. If you have a problem with me appearing sceptical and asking you to substantiate things, it is one you brought entirely upon yourself. 

    That said thankyou for the information and I also after a degree of searching found this:

    (similar story but with rats rather than sheep and a longer test period.)

    John’s line “beloved woodchip industry” shows again that he is one of the many logically-challenged posters on here who believe that if A opposes B and C opposes B then C supports A and vice versa.  I debunked this sort of tripe in a reply to the similarly overexcitable Jason Lovell on the thread about Gunns’ butterfly award.  If I was such an unabashed fan of the industry I would be making constant public statements praising its virtues to the skies, but actually you won’t see me doing that sort of thing much.  I do view the industry as relatively benign compared to the myth-riddled image of it portrayed by its opponents, but my main motive is not to support the industry, but to destroy the green movement’s ongoing attempts to place itself above science as an arbiter of environmental truth.  In this campaign, the forestry debate is a means to an end. 

    A point re the eagles - I’m well aware of the possibility of different susceptibility between local and mainland eagles; this was flagged in the well-known PVA report on the north-east populations.  I can also understand how susceptibility might not even be distributed uniformly around mainland Australia.  However, once resistance was acquired, by what mechanisms and over what time scale would it be lost?  Anyone know?

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  26/11/06  at  11:21 PM
  27. My Henry doesn’t really understand irony but he says it seems ironic to him that people need to defend being able to use 1080 to painfully and inhumanely kill animals to protect plantations seedlings which will in turn grow to become the almost lifeless monoculture that a plantation represents.

    To me it just seems a bit sad.

    Posted by Minnie Bannister  on  27/11/06  at  08:09 AM
  28. Compound 1080 has been listed by the FBI and the Canadian Security Intellegence agency as a potential terrorist weapon. It is a tasteless and odourless,water-soluble poison of extraordinary potency. It has been found in Iraq recently where it was being investigated as a mass poison,in a CIA report there were references to cans of 1080 being recovered with the good old “Made in the U.S.A” labels still intact.The widespread use of 1080 (before being banned in all but a few countries) has caused accidental deaths of livestock,wildlife,pets and humans.Reference U.S Environmental Protection Agency[EPA].
    It has been used by African tribes( not synthesized 1080 as such but as a naturally occuring organic flouride found in the Gifblaar plant)to poison other tribes water wells.
    It was also examined by a certain country in World War 2 as a means of mass killing of civilians but was considered too dangerous to be used by all but the very qualified and experienced.Reference-Contaminant Hazard Reviews,U.S National Biological Service.
    Sadly in Australia it is administered and controlled by agencies that are also compelled by law to protect our Native Wildlife.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  27/11/06  at  08:30 AM
  29. If Dr Kev wants to seize the rationalist high ground,  he will simply have to challenge the scientific whoppers put out by his beloved industry. The most recent one is the line that woodchippers are the front line of the battle against greenhouse gases. Previously we have heard such beauties as the spiel that their burning, poisoning and exotic species propagation mimic the forces of nature, that their poisoning of anything that will eat a carrot is “selective”, and that clearfelling “improves the forest.

    Dr Kev’s silence on this sort of stuff has the same effect on his credibility as Tas forest practices usually have on forests-  complete anihilation.

    Dr Kev does get a point for recycling. “Wayward’ was the spelling on my name badge supplied for a 1999 “Cabinet Forum” meeting with the supreme charmer, Paul Lennon.

    John Hayward

    Posted by john Hayward  on  27/11/06  at  08:51 AM
  30. see posting 10
    Has anyone any research or information on the long term effects of these chemicals on our native animals?

    Posted by alison bleaney  on  27/11/06  at  08:52 AM
  31. Tomas,come on who are you? I find your comment in #25 offensive,“the usual uneducated thick-heads”
    Just because they don’t agree with you?
    The level of claimed education and claimed academic achievement is not a reliable indicator of what is morally right or wrong.
    We as Human Beings do not have any right to subject defenceless animals to long, disgraceful and inhumane deaths by slow poisoning.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  27/11/06  at  11:17 AM
  32. It’s all quite simple, really.  We can debate forever about various poisons and their direct and indirect effects on the food chain, but I go back to Dr Bonham’s point in post 7, where he explained it all.

    It is not a question of how we kill native fauna but why.

    If it is only so that plantation trees can regenerate more quickly, then we basically let the critters live, taking a few for food. 

    Jeeze, you can’t eat woodchips, whereas a nice bit of curried possum takes some beating, and wallaby seared then slowly casseroled with garlic, tomato and red wine is anything but “a tasteless and odourless, water-soluble poison of extraordinary potency”.

    Bersides, if plantation trees grew more slowly and randomly, wouldn’t they more closely approximate natural forest?

    Posted by Justa Bloke  on  27/11/06  at  11:25 AM
  33. Almost lifeless, Minnie? There is plenty of native life in plantations!  I can cite a reference of mine for you, if you like, but it was published in an international journal, so may give “Some more equal” a serious hernia.

    John, if industry sycophants were making false claims about the science of the logging issue on this site (and I knew their claims were false) I might very well challenge those too, but you wouldn’t see one such posting on TT for every thousand misinformed greenie bleats.  I’m not going to jump through any silly hoops of yours just to stop an extremist like you from considering me non-credible.  You seem to consider comment across the range of an issue (ie criticising inaccurate claims by the industry as well as the green lobby) to be a prerequisite for credibility, but I’ll bet you don’t apply the same standard to scientists who publicly attack the industry but not the green lobby! 

    In my view the credibility of a public commentator on scientific issues should be determined by the accuracy of their statements.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  27/11/06  at  03:04 PM
  34. Ian, re post 31, what if those “defenceless animals” are feral predators that if not killed in this manner will eat defenceless native animals?  I’ve never been eaten by a feral canid personally (although a few have tried) but I suspect that it’s not an entirely pleasant experience. 

    I’m all for rapidly phasing out 1080 use in browsing control on all land tenures but if 1080 can effectively eliminate foxes without significant bycatch in the process then I see any suffering endured by those foxes as acceptable, compared to the havoc that those foxes may otherwise inflict.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  27/11/06  at  03:50 PM
  35. I’ve eaten fox.  It’s not too bad, but I wouldn’t want to try one that had consumed 1080.

    Posted by Justa Bloke  on  27/11/06  at  04:50 PM
  36. Kev we have been trying for over 50 years to wipe out rabbits, foxes, dingoes, wild pigs and wild dogs in Australia with 1080. They are all still there,some in larger numbers than ever. Maybe, just maybe the multi million dollar 1080 industry is a failure.
    Having spent some time in Europe and studied their game management procedures I can safely say we have a lot to learn. Italy, France, Germany, the Baltic countries, Czech Republic and Hungary etc.etc have predators such as foxes, wolves, weasels, martens and in some of these countries, bears. All this wildlife co-exists,a nd I know, I know, before we here the screams of our animals have not evolved with these predators, our wildlife has evolved with ultra efficient predators such as Spotted Quolls, Devils and before we wiped them out the magnificent Thylacine.
    Certainly in Europe the mentality is not to protect them in one paddock and poison them in the next.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  27/11/06  at  04:54 PM
  37. Re #33 “There is plenty of native life in plantations!  I can cite a reference of mine for you, if you like”

    Yes please, I would like a copy or link to that if available.

    Posted by kate  on  27/11/06  at  05:26 PM
  38. Dear Doc Kevin Bonham

    Thank you for your prompt reply. On your suggestion Henry and I went for a walk in a plantation, I’m sorry to say it was very lifeless compared to our usual strolls in the bush nearby. We would like to write a paper but we are a bit tired. Perhaps after a cuppa and a bit of a lie down.

    Posted by Minnie Bannister  on  27/11/06  at  06:58 PM
  39. Ian, I agree with you that whether or not foxes can be wiped out using 1080 is a big if.

    Minnie, that’s because you didn’t look hard enough!

    kate: as I recall my offer was specifically to Minnie so it’s rather rude of you to butt in like that. :)  But in any case the reference in question is Bonham, KJ, Mesibov, R & Bashford, R 2002, ‘Diversity and abundance of ground-dwelling invertebrates in plantation vs. native forests in Tasmania, Australia’, Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 158, pp. 237–47.  Abstract at
    and always happy to email copies on request to people who provide me with their full real name.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  27/11/06  at  09:16 PM
  40. One of the biggest problems with plantations is the fact that wildlife habitats are firstly fragmented when perfectly balanced eco-systems are cleared, logs and rubbish are heaped up and sometimes unsuccessful attempts are made to burn them. These log heaps then become a refuge for all sorts of undesirable animals such as feral cats, bird egg destroying rats and other nasty non natives. Plantations are never given the opportunity to develop sufficiently to provide the diverse range of habitat that native birds and most native animals require to survive.  They seem to benefit introduced feral species more than native species.

    Feral deer love plantations as they can hide in them and basically they do not have to expose themselves to any danger; usually there is good pasture close handy for their nocturnal foraging.  Similarly, they offer shelter to exploding populations of wallabies, exploding by virtue of the easy access to pasture provided by the plantations located abutting farmland.

    Plantations do not offer any hollows for natives such as sugar gliders or nesting sites for endangered parrots, southern boobook owls, masked owls, barn owls or even the poor old persecuted possums. In the absence of their natural shelter provided by the higher hollow limbs, possums will use the log heaps found on the ground in plantations at their peril.

    Conservationists regard plantations as not only monocultures but havens for feral species, whilst pastoralists regard plantations as havens for pasture damaging wallabies.

    1080 has become the ‘quick fix’ for the perceived economic threat of both introduced feral animals and ever-increasing numbers of native animals.

    Question: the only manufacturer of sodium monoflouroacetate(1080) that I know of is Toll Chemical Company, Oxford, Alabama, U.S.A. Who imports, distributes and profits from this foul, obnoxious substance?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  27/11/06  at  09:22 PM
  41. “Almost lifeless, Minnie? There is plenty of native life in plantations!  I can cite a reference of mine for you, if you like,..” -KB (#33).

    “Yes please, I would like a copy or link to that if available.” - Kate (#37).

    “the reference in question is Bonham, KJ, Mesibov, R & Bashford, R 2002, ‘Diversity and abundance of ground-dwelling invertebrates in plantation vs. native forests in Tasmania, Australia’, Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 158, pp. 237–47.” - KB (#39).

    Ground-dwelling INVERTEBRATES???

    I thought the thread was on VERTEBRATES?? 

    Can you give us another reference, please!  (preferably one that compares abundance and diversity of ground and/or aboreal vertebrates in native forest versus plantations).

    Posted by Tassie Smurf  on  28/11/06  at  07:15 AM
  42. Better still, Tassie Smurf, you give us a peer reviewed reference that shows there isn’t “plenty of life in plantations”.

    I don’t know why Nick Mooney even bothers with Rist, Obendorf et al.

    Posted by rat  on  28/11/06  at  10:05 AM
  43. It appears this thread is a difficult one on which to get people to answer direct questions.

    My questions again are directed to the scientific officer Fox Free Task Force: What irrefutable, science based evidence do you have to confirm your statement that there are “between two dozen and two to three hundred foxes living in Tasmania.”

    Even your own Department has secret doubts as to the validity of the Glen Esk Road carcass and the blood spots that appeared at the Old Beach property after five days of surveilance with no fox or photo of a fox to back them up-in fact no supportive evidence at all.

    The two month old fox cub remains discovered on the road opposite a Lillico Penguin rookery after a tip off from an anonymous CANBERRA cyclist also had not one scrap off supportive evidence.

    Based on this the state is about to embark on a ten year mass poisoning program, at a cost to taxpayers of 56 million dollars, if the Feds. are also stupid enough not to see through ...this.

    If the Govt. realises there is the ongoing risk of interstate shipping providing an avenue for fox incursion, admit it and dramatically increase port security and surveilance. The old, tired,and unproven theories of cub importation and release etc.etc. have not stood up to the test of time.

    Finally if the FFTF could produce just one Tasmanian fox or at least a photo of a Tasmanian fox instead of relying on recycled road kill, a lot of the sceptics may become a lot less sceptical.

    This sceptiscism has evolved purely because of the nonsense and speculation that has been put out there. The FFTF have no one to blame but themselves for their own credibility problem. Five years without one verifiable fox carcass of their own or even a photo to back up all the speculation and nonsense and smoke and mirrors; is it any wonder a lot of us are sceptical?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  28/11/06  at  11:13 AM
  44. Boring, boring, boring. Another one liner sqeak from the the rat pyseudonym that pops out of its hole every so often. Why don’t you try and contribute something sensible? Preferably under your real name, or are you on the 56 million dollar gravy train?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  28/11/06  at  12:14 PM
  45. Tassie Smurf: Well, I actually thought the thread was about the effect of 1080 baiting for foxes on Tasmanian devils and spotted-tailed quolls.  But the usual suspects chose not to stick to that and brought up completely irrelevant matters to which others then quite properly responded, turning it into an off-topic free-for-all.  If you have problems with this thread going off-topic you should be taking those up with “Justa Bloke” (irrelevant questions about 1080 use in plantations, post 3),  “Minnie Bannister” (irrelevant claims about plantations being lifeless due to 1080 use, post 27), “Some More equal” (pathetic irrelevant personal attacks, posts 6 and 18), and so on. 

    You may want to check out the late Leonard Wall’s pioneering study of birds in pine plantations in the 1983 Pap. Proc. Roy. Soc. Tas.  I’m not aware of too much else dealing with that unrepresentative <1% of species diversity to which you refer (vertebrates) in a Tasmanian context. For a SE Australian context get into the Lindenmayer et al Tumut fragmentation stuff which includes many interesting papers on this issue (I’ll leave you to look them up, it shouldn’t be too hard.)

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  28/11/06  at  03:16 PM
  46. Tassie Smurf - whats a spine betweem friends - I’m sure it wont have any impact on toxicological response!

    Really Kev - 19 publications in your academic resume? Do you really think some of use cant run a citation database query? I hope you are’nt seriously trying to include 14 contributions to this website as legitimate publications? Ho ho. I think this answers alot of questions.

    In summary you have an undergraduate background in arts, you graduated from a school which traditionaly sits in the Arts Faculty and was only transferred out in 1999, you don’t appear to have studied chemistry at university (please correct me if I am wrong - only the third time I have asked this question) and it would appear that your research publications in international, peer-reviewed scientific journals can be counted on (less than)one hand. Its about time someone told you that, scientifically speaking, you are’nt wearing any clothes.

    I dont object to you contributing on any subject (indeed I often value your comments) but please stop being so arrogant and give others the benefit of the doubt (or at least some courtesy). Lov.

    Posted by some more equal  on  28/11/06  at  04:08 PM
  47. some more equal (no thanks, artificial sweeteners suck), I am not going to waste any courtesy on a waste of space like you, and if you are quivering in the corner because you find me arrogant, I am encouraged and promise to act even more so to you in the future.  Idiotic anonymous sniper-trolls making unfactual personal attacks have no rightful place in public life, and you can expect me to treat you with absolute contempt at all times until you mend your act *completely*.  I don’t give a toss if you value my comments; I do not value yours.

    I will be happy to supply my list of 19 referred publications (as author or co-author) to you by email if you provide your full real name and promise to apologise unreservedly and publicly if you, after that, cannot refute my claim.  Until then, yes, I do think you can’t run an effective citation query, troll.  Some of my papers appear under Bonham KJ; some under Bonham K; some under K Bonham, some under KJ Bonham, etc.  Tracking them down and working out which are me from all the other K Bonhams out there would take you quite a while and require a level of effort clearly far beyond your five diseased brain cells - even assuming the citation indeces in question actually included all my publications (some of which are book chapters).  I’m not vain enough to care less about methodically defective citation blather so it’s not something I’ve wasted a lot of time on, but even mucking around for long enough on Google Scholar should find you several of mine. 

    Furthermore what school the department of Geography was classified under prior to 1999 is irrelevant.  I don’t actually believe your claim, but in any case the department’s undergrad units counted as full-value science units.  Furthermore my PhD was awarded after 1999 so your whole line of attack is irrelevant!  (My suitably messy undergrad background includes arts and science subjects, for what it’s worth).

    The sad idea that someone has to have *any* specific number of internationally published papers to be a credible public scientific commentator is yet another sign of your trollish idiocy, but depending upon exactly what you count as an “international journal” it may be that your hands have extra fingers compared to most human beings - another genetic defect to go with your shrunken brain, perhaps?

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  28/11/06  at  08:24 PM
  48. Dear Dr Kevin Bonham

    Both Henry and myself can see perfectly well, Thank you. If you expect Henry with his bad back to crawl around in a plantation looking for slugs you are expecting too much. Henry tends to step on slugs, don’t take it personally.

    We did find the plantation was very eerily quite, it would appear that all that life don’t make much noise.

    Posted by Minnie Bannister  on  29/11/06  at  09:10 AM
  49. Mr (or Mrs) Rat, I don’t actually know whether Nick Mooney is bothered by the various conntributions posted by Tasmanian Times on foxes, but is that the main reason of such blog articles?

    For me the ‘value’ of Tasmanian Times is that these articles are read by many, many people and they are linked to Web Search Engines like This allows other opinions than just the Government media releases and public relations perspectives on various issues can be read. That has to be good for any free & open society.

    Attempts at communication with people in power has never, ever been easy. If a person’s motivation to express their opinion is to try to explore for the truth, then all genuine dialogue must be welcomed.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  29/11/06  at  04:29 PM
  50. To all you sick sick supporters of 1080 please obtain the video available from The Tasmanian Conservation Trust (not sure of the name) and witness the pain and suffering posioned animals go through. NOTHING can justify its usage. And, Kev, science is not always right…

    Posted by Michael Higgins  on  29/11/06  at  05:40 PM
  51. “Tassie Smurf - whats a spine between friends..” - some more equal (#46).

    That struck a notochord with me! :)

    “For a SE Australian context get into the Lindenmayer et al Tumut fragmentation stuff which includes many interesting papers on this issue (I’ll leave you to look them up, it shouldn’t be too hard.)” - Dr Kevin Bonham (#45).

    Found it!  Will spend some time doing some background reading on diversity in native vs. plantation forests.  Seem to remember back in my undergrad years of my second degree (in forest ecology) that it was very clear cut.  Will have to troll through all my old papers for refs and come back to you (and rat) on this topic later?? 

    Also, trolling through my complete set of “Tasforests” journals, I’ve noticed a complete lack of research into faunal diversity studies in plantation forests in Tasmania.  Maybe this requires serious and immediate attention from (independent) ecologists?

    Posted by Tassie Smurf  on  30/11/06  at  07:23 AM
  52. In regard to Minnie’s comment (38), plantations are known to be rather lacking in native fauna, particularly pine plantations. But what about native hardwood plantations?

    The following is some PhD work that may give some answers. It is interesting to note that Ecualyptus plantations are lacking (depauperate) in bird species.

    ‘As the national plantation estate is projected to rise to 3 million ha by 2020, important conservation questions arise - do eucalypt (hardwood) plantations provide enough resources to sustain viable faunal populations, or are they only useful for connectivity and foraging, not supply of new individuals? ...

    I have already determined that plantations are depauperate in avifauna compared to native forests; however, plantation with riparian (streamside) vegetation retain a surprisingly high number of forest birds. I am currently investigating ecological parameters that reflect habitat quality…’

    Posted by Jon Sumby  on  03/12/06  at  08:25 AM
  53. PhD student Tina Hsu from the University of Wollongong, in her summary, states why she believes her project is important: “As the national plantation estate is projected to rise to 3 million ha by 2020”.  However, the vast majority of the new plantations planted in Australia in the last 15 years have gone on to converted pasture areas.  The more relevant hypothesis to test is whether these new hardwood plantations have more Eastern Yellow Robins and White-browed Scrub Wrens than pasture.  One could also debate whether the national plantation estate is “projected” to triple when all that has been set is a “target” to triple it.  From what I read this target is unlikely to be met!

    Curious jargon in her summary gives a clue to the fringe nature of her project - “native eucalypt plantations”.  Are there any “non-native eucalypt plantations” in Australia?

    Posted by rat  on  03/12/06  at  10:46 AM
  54. Thanks for the link, Jon (#52).  Will be following this topic more closely!

    Posted by Tassie Smurf  on  04/12/06  at  08:43 AM
  55. E. nitens are not native to Tasmania - does this matter? Who knows of the impacts on flora and fauna? Who is researching this area?

    Posted by alison bleaney  on  04/12/06  at  10:47 PM
  56. Wanted to buy, genuine Tasmania fox pelts, in bundles of 20, Complete with ears and tails. I myself do understand the differences between fox terriers, native quolls, brown spaniels with curly hair all over them, and of course Brown possum pelts.

    As for the Fox Task Troopers and Sleuths, I guess you could all go on extended leave, thus give these little crafty blighters a chance to populate so that you might genuinly claim you’ve actually seen a fox in the fur, (not just a skun neighborhood household pet.)

    Posted by William Boeder  on  10/03/09  at  11:33 PM
  57. William, it seems I have competition! I put up a reward for just ONE freshly shot Tasmanian fox and am willing to pay $1000 and ther’s abosultely no need to skin it!

    It’s been a REAL DEAL for over two years now.

    How much are you willing to pay for 20 ‘genuine” Tasmanian fox skins?

    Check out FOX REWARD on the Tasmanian Times side menu.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  11/03/09  at  09:28 AM
  58. In reply to David Obendorf #57.
    Would you accept a photo of a fox that has a background scene of a Mallee wheat farm for $1000-00.

    I do have for sale some fox rumors, also some vague long distance night-time sightings via my old box brownie, as a special treat for fox hunters, I also have photos of where a fox has actually stopped for a breather before continuing its hunt for food.
    This particular ‘breather’ photo has some beautifully indented grass in the forefront. although the ubiquitous Mallee wheatfield is again featured in the background.
    My buying price for genuine Tasmanian fox pelts in batches of 20, is $40-00 per skin,(skins must be brushed and contain no mange.)
    As a bonus I will offer an all expenses paid trip to team up with the formidable Tasmanian fox hunting troopers for 10 consecutive days and nights.
    Illegal quantities of 1080 poison freely available.
    (Can make big bucks from selling this via the black-market.)

    Posted by William Boeder  on  12/03/09  at  07:57 AM





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