Kapiti stoat fi­nally found

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion pest con­trol teams have caught a stoat on Kapiti Is­land.

The cap­ture comes af­ter an in­ten­sive three-month trap­ping cam­paign fol­low­ing the sight­ing of a stoat on the is­land sanc­tu­ary late last year.

‘‘We don’t want to jump to con­clu­sions that this is the only an­i­mal we are deal­ing with, but we are nat­u­rally hop­ing for the best with this find,’’ said Clint Purches, the DOC ranger in charge of the stoat op­er­a­tion.

He said DOC would con­tinue with in­ten­sive trap­ping and mon­i­tor­ing pro­grammes and it could take months be­fore the pres­ence of fur­ther stoats could be ruled out.

The stoat was found by DOC con­trac­tor Hamish Far­rell in one of 160 traps strate­gi­cally placed around the is­land in re­cent months.

The an­i­mal’s body was de­com­posed, and DOC says DNA tests will be nec­es­sary to de­ter­mine its gen­der.

Mr Purches said DOC staff had used lat­eral think­ing to lure the stoat to the trap.

With no ju­ve­nile stoats de­tected on the is­land – which are usu­ally eas­ier to spot and trap than adults – and work­ing on the as­sump­tion that the stoat was a male, bed­ding ma­te­rial from a fe­male stoat was brought in and used to bait some of the traps.

Mr Purches said stoat de­tec­tion dogs would be taken to the is­land again in late Fe­bru­ary, and mon­i­tor­ing and trap­ping work would con­tinue in to the fore­see­able fu­ture.

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