Stoats were monitored by three methods through an aerial 1080 poisoning operation at Waimanoa, Pureora Forest in August 1997. Tracking rates and number of live captures were used as indices of abundance, and radio-transmitters were used to follow individual animals. All 13 stoats with radio-transmitters within the poisoned area died between 2-18 days after the operation. No mustelids were tracked or live-trapped after the operation for three months. Of the radio-tracked stoats that died, rat remains occurred in 67%, passerine birds in 17%, cave weta in 17% and possum in 8%.
Stoat (Mustela erminea) density was estimated by live-trapping in a South Island Nothofagus forest, New Zealand, at 8-9 (Jan/Feb 1996) and 15-16 (Aug/Sep 1996) month intervals after significant beech seedfall in autumn 1995. Absolute densities were 4.2 stoats per km² (2.9-7.7 stoats per km², 95% confidence intervals) in Jan;Feb 1996 and 2.5 stoats per km² (2.1-3.5 stoats per km²) in Aug/Sep 1996. Trappability of stoats increased in the latter sampling period, probably because mice (Mus musculus) had become extremely scarce.
We studied the ecology of a high-density population of stoats in Fiordland, New Zealand, in the summer and autumn of 1990-91 following a Nothofagus seeding in 1990. Results are compared with findings from the same area in 1991-92, a period of lower stoat density. In the high-density year, minimum home ranges (revealed by radio-tracking) of four females averaged 69 ha and those of three males 93 ha; range lengths averaged 1.3 km and 2.5 km respectively. Neither difference was statistically significant.
Home range and diet of stoats inhabiting beech forest were examined by trapping and radio-tracking. Eleven stoats (6 female, 5 male) were fitted with radio-transmitters. Minimum home ranges of five females averaged 124 ± 21 ha and of four males 206 ± 73 ha. Range lengths of females averaged 2.3 ± 0.3 km and of males 4.0 ± 0.9 km. These differences were not statistically significant. Adult female stoats appeared to have mutually exclusive home ranges. Two females and one male had home ranges that were bisected by the Eglinton River.
The abundance and diet of stoats (Mustela erminea) were compared before and after an aerial 1080-poison operation for possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) in a New Zealand podocarp- hardwood forest. Poisoning dramatically reduced ship rat (Rattus rattus) abundance. Although rats were the main prey item of stoats before the poisoning, stoat abundance was unaffected by the operation and there was a change in stoats' diet from rats to birds. The conservation benefits and risks of undertaking such operations are not clear.
The prevalence of infestation of the skulls of stoats with the parasitic nematode Skrjabingylus nasicola was previously described in a national survey by King and Moody (1982). Since then, more samples from Craigieburn Forest Park and from the Eglinton Valley, Fiordland, have been collected, and a method of determining the actual ages of adult stoats has been developed. The extended samples are here examined for a relationship between infestation and age, which could not previously be tested. Prevalence generally increases with age, significantly so at Craigieburn.
Adele (87 ha) and Fisherman (3.6 ha) Islands lie 800 m and 1100 m, respectively, offshore in Tasman Bay, Nelson. Both are covered predominantly in native forest and scrub. There are mice (Mus musculus) on Adele Island but no rodents on Fisherman Island. Both islands are within swimming range of stoats (Mustela erminea) which have colonised Adele Island and occasionally visit Fisherman Island, 700 m distant.
In New Zealand, alpine grasslands occur above the treeline of beech forest. Historically stoat control paradigms in New Zealand’s montane natural areas have assumed alpine grassland is a marginal habitat that limits dispersal between beech forest stoat populations. We compared the summer-to-autumn (January–April) density, weight, diet and winter survival of stoats between these two habitatsduring years of low beech seedfall.
The diet of 871 stoats (Mustela erminea) caught within the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary, South Westland, New Zealand, between 2001 and 2004 was studied by assessment of gut contents. Stoat and ship rat (Rattus rattus) captures were used as a measure of relative abundance over time, and rat and mouse (Mus musculus) abundance was indexed using tracking tunnels between spring 2002 and winter 2004. There were major increases in rat captures in spring of 2002 and again in spring of 2003. Stoat captures peaked in the following summers, as rat captures declined.