Stoats are members of the mustelid family along with ferrets and weasels. They were introduced to New Zealand to control rabbits. Unfortunately, they found New Zealand birds easy prey and have had a devastaing effect on them.
Stoats have reddish-brown fur on their back, a white or cream underbelly, and a long tail relative to weasels. The tail has a distinctive bushy black tip. Adult males can reach 40 cm from nose to tip of tail.
The Kiwicare Predator Free Pack contains products for the control of rodents and stoats. The Victor Modified Rat & Stoat Trap supplied in the Predator Free Pack is NAWAC-approved as a humane way to kill rats and stoats.
Because rodents are prey species for stoats and other mustelids, rodent control is also helpful in controlling mustelids. Stoats and rats are part of a complex predator-prey relationship.
See here for how to control rodents:
According to the Department of Conservation stoats are known to be having a significant effect on birds species such as wrybills, the New Zealand dotterel, black-fronted terns and young kiwi. Birds that nest in holes in tree trunks such as mohua, kākā and yellow-crowned kākāriki are easy prey for stoats who can take out eggs, chicks and incubating adults in one attack.
Stoats are implicated in the extinction of South Island subspecies of bush wren, laughing owl and New Zealand thrush. Even a 3 kg takahe or 2 kg kakapo can be killed by a stoat, that also has a strategy of killing everything in sight and storing the surplus for later.
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