Mustelid detective hound, Crete, and handler Scott Theobold, will be back on Kapiti Island this week. For the next half a year they’ll be there regularly, for up to a week at a time, to scope the joint for any more signs of stoat action.
I myself, being an urban DOC-ette, have only seen a stoat once – it ran across the road in front of the family car on a Fiordland camping holiday. But I didn’t like the look of its face and am thrilled that, so far, no more signs of his kin have been found on Kapiti. Have any of you guys seen stoats in the wild before?
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.
So, while all may seem quiet on the stoat front at present, bio-security work continues. Along with checking traps and tracking tunnels every fortnight, and sniffer dogs and handlers doing their thing, there’s also track maintenance happening all over the island.
So, thanks to all involved in the work on Kapiti Island. Providing a threat free sanctuary for our treasured wildlife is wonderful – but it isn’t easy.