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.
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!