New Zealand Journal of Ecology (2003) 27(1): 1- 9

Large scale stoat control to protect mohua (Mohoua ochrocephala) and kaka (Nestor meridionalis) in the Eglinton Valley, Fiordland, New Zealand

Research Article
Peter Dilks 1,*
Murray Willans 2
Moira Pryde 1
Ian Fraser 1,3
  1. Department of Conservation, Science & Research Unit, Private Bag, Christchurch, New Zealand
  2. Department of Conservation, P.O. Box 29, Te Anau, New Zealand
  3. Current address, 275 Mairangi Bay Rd, North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand
*  Corresponding author

To enhance the breeding success and survival of kaka (Nestor meridionalis) and mohua (Mohoua ochrocephala), we initiated stoat (Mustela erminea) control in the Eglinton Valley (13 000 ha), Fiordland, New Zealand using a single 40 km line of traps spaced 200 m apart with traps set continuously. This low intensity stoat control regime permitted successful kaka breeding and fledgling survival was high. A large irruption of rats, probably due to two consecutive years of heavy seeding by beech and mild winters, complicated assessment of the benefits of the technique for protecting breeding mohua. However, no stoat predation on breeding was recorded.