Stoat on a plate

Tessa Rain —  16/03/2011

The elusive Kapiti Island stoat has been caught. And it’s a… boy! While we can’t be sure this is the only stoat on the island yet, our man at the scene – DOC contractor Hamish Farrell – did do a dance of joy at the discovery.

Hamish Farrell with the dead stoat he found on Kapiti Island

The stoat had spent three months at large, and there were concerns that it would turn out to be a she – which, if pregnant, could have had even more dire implications for the wildlife on the magical island sanctuary. 

A most inventive method was used to lure the two-year-old stoat to its demise: bedding material from a female stoat was put in some of the 160 traps covering the island, sending a message of the possibility of luurve and resulting in the capture. 

DNA testing has confirmed its age and gender, and will hopefully soon tell us whether it’s the same varmint that left faeces behind for our stoat detection dogs to find last year. 

While we will continue monitoring and trapping work for some time yet, with $75,000 spent on the control programme to date, the discovery comes as a great relief to all who love the iconic nature reserve off our coast – and the endangered birds it protects. Stoats beware!

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  1. All quiet on the stoat front « Conservation blog - July 1, 2011

    […] As for the famous stoat caught on Kapiti last year: We’ve found some scat since his capture, but DNA analysis has shown up inconclusive – we don’t know if it’s from our original guy or a  different one. We’ll have to wait and see whether Scott and Crete track down anything more on their future visits.  Hamish Farrell with the dead stoat he found on Kapiti Island […]