DoC spent nearly $500,000 to kill one stoat in Fiordland

The Department of Conservation (DOC) spent nearly half a million dollars on an operation to kill one stoat. In August 2022 a male stoat was identified on Chalky Island/Te Kākahu-O-Tamatea, in Fiordland which has been predator-free since 1999. Select committee documents show from the time the animal was detected to its capture eight months later DOC spent $483,260.

In the documents DOC explained that had the stoat not been caught it could have killed Kākāpō chicks, nationally endangered Ted Te Kākahu skinks and Little Spotted Kiwi chicks.

Auckland University Professor of Conservation Biology, James Russell told RNZ the fact Kākāpō have been reintroduced to the island makes it a “precious place.”

“That isolation that has protected the birds is also what makes some of these operations so expensive such as doing a predator incursion response.”

Russell said he supported DOC’s decision to spend the money on the stoat eradication.


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3 Responses to DoC spent nearly $500,000 to kill one stoat in Fiordland

  1. Joe Lewis says:

    Only one stoat it probably would have got sick of no mate and swum back to where it came from for a night out or eventually died of old age without breeding.

  2. G.A. says:

    Stoats have absolutely no trouble swimming long distances – distance would only be dictated by water temperature. Yes, a stoat swam out to Maud Island in Marlborough Sounds.

  3. R.D. says:

    Stoats were liberated near Riverton – took only a few years to get to Resolution Island. In Dusky Sound! Richard Henry saw the first one on the island in 1897 ! They had to swim massive rivers, traverse mountains & Sounds to get there! Secretary Island still has stoats there. They did get the last deer there a few years ago – cost $150,000 to get it!! And it was a stag!

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