The bush wren, laughing owl, and native thrush are all extinct.
The images below show the devastation that a stoat can wreck on our native species—in this case New Zealand’s smallest bird, the rifleman/titipounamu.
DOC ranger, Anja McDonald, sent through these heartbreaking images.
They were taken at Tennyson Inlet in the Marlborough Sounds. She explains:
The male bird was in the nest when the stoat came and we don’t see any pictures of him coming out again. The rifleman mother then returns to her nest. The things in her beak are likely to be the remains of either her husband or her chicks.
When we climbed the tree later, to bring the camera in, there was only a female around, which suggests the stoat possibly ate both the adult male and the chicks.
A very sad end for these small birds, but a important reminder of the pest control work that needs to be done to protect our native species.