The internet, while it can be a godsend if you need to find something out (gotta love google maps for directions), can also be a wretched hive of wrongness and misinformation.
That misinformation can take many forms, but when it comes to 1080 it’s clear that those opposed to NZ’s use of this chemical firmly believe that a picture is worth a thousand words.
Any picture. Thank goodness for the ‘reverse image search’ function in Google.
For example, on the Facebook page for the group New Zealands not clean green, in amongst photos of animals that may or may not have been killed by 1080, we find several of animals that weren’t. For example:
It’s fairly obvious that this one was simply lifted straight off the internet – the shutterstock watermark should give it away! What’s more, in life this bird wouldn’t have come within cooee of sodium monofluoroacete – because it’s a great tit (Parus major): a bird found in the UK and Europe.
The same’s true for this little creature:
Again, this is not a species that has ever existed in New Zealand. It’s most likely a house wren (Troglodytes aedon), which is found in both North and South America.
Anti-1080 groups are rather fond of claiming that these kiwi were all killed by 1080. However, the photo was first released by the Bay Bush Action group back in 2016 – the birds were collected in the Kerikeri region after they were killed by dogs or by cars. (Blunt force trauma fand dog attacks both leave recognisable traces behind, after all.) Bay Bush Action do some excellent conservation work in the Bay of Islands and are understandably annoyed that their image has been misused in this way.
I can only say that using images in this misleading way doesn’t exactly add to the strength of the ‘anti’ argument.