COBY promotes caring for our lands without the use of poisons:

Te tiakitanga nga whenua hei paitini kore.

Welcome to COBY – Coromandel Our Backyard. This is a place where landowners and homesteaders with similar interests can network, share information and support each other in our journey towards a poison-free Coromandel Peninsula in Aotearoa, New Zealand. 

Ecosystems are dynamic and everchanging. COBY’S philosophy aims for ecosystem balance, rather than artificial recreation of some past “pure” native ecosystem.  

Since European settlement thousands of exotic species, both plant and animal, have been introduced.  Habitats for native birds have been lost by the huge impacts of pastoral farming and forest burning and clearing. Ecosystems have been severely impacted by the colonial introduction of mammalian species that exploded in populations without their usual predators to keep numbers in check.

These invasive species do need controlling to help ecosystem balance. But the debate is over HOW we do that. COBY advocates for trapping and hunting, and not the use of poisons.

Eradication approaches to conservation, as promoted by DoC, Predator-Free 2050 and other groups using poisons like MEG, often have unintended consequences. For example, stoats, which predate primarily on rats, are forced to prey-switch to birds following a 1080 rat “knockdown.” Months later, rats rebound to greater levels than before.  An endless cycle of “more 1080 more often” ensues. This becomes a pesticide treadmill, like a drug addiction, with ongoing profits for the manufacturers and distributors of the poison.

Besides, the users of poisons turn a blind eye to the fact that these VTA’s ( Vertebrate Toxic Agents), are all inhumane. COBY people agree that we need less cruel and less harmful ways of doing conservation. We need true Kaitiakitanga, not “pseudo-kaitiakitanga”, true guardianship and caring for ecosystems in a healthy way, acknowledging that all things are connected – air, water, plants, animals, fungi, bacteria…

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