Kapiti pest con­firmed

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

A stoat sight­ing on Kapiti Is­land has been con­firmed af­ter DNA, found on an­i­mal drop­pings and a dead bird, proved to be from the preda­tor.

A Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion ranger re­ported see­ing a stoat on the is­land on Novem­ber 4, spark­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the depart­ment.

A three-week-old dead para­keet was found two weeks ago by mustelid de­tec­tion dog Crete and his han­dler Scott Theobold.

Crete broke a leg in a fall off a bluff and a re­place­ment dog, Koha, will be sent to the is­land this week, for up to a fort­night, while Crete re­cov­ers.

Welling­ton area threats ranger Clint Purches said the find­ings pro­vided jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for in­creas­ing the trap­ping and search­ing ef­fort.

‘‘Any new scat sam­ples found can also be tested to see whether it is dif­fer­ent ge­netic ma­te­rial, and there­fore de­ter­mine whether there is more than one stoat present on the is­land.’’

Kapiti Is­land was de­clared free of in­tro­duced mam­mals in 1998 af­ter many years spent erad­i­cat­ing goats, cats, deer, sheep, cat­tle, pigs, dogs, pos­sums and rats.

It is home to some of the rarest wildlife in New Zealand and one of the nation’s most im­por­tant sites for bird re­cov­ery.

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