Serious bird predator on Horseshoe Island!!!

Footprints of a mustelid, probably a weasel or a stoat, were seen on Horseshoe Island on Saturday, barely five metres from the nest site of the endangered variable oystercatcher in recent years.

Oystercatcher eggs and chicks would have no hope against one of these aggressive predators of native birds, particularly ground-nesters.  Before the next nesting season we should set stoat traps on the island in the hope of removing the risk and improving the chances of successful nesting of the birds.

Predator trapping should be considered on a longer term basis for the island, as re-invasion would be easy for mustelids which could cross the sand flats at low tide from the mainland with ease particularly at night.

Comments

  1. k.baird@forestandbird.org.nz says:

    Hey Roger, good spotting. Agree we need to trap prior to start of breeding season, which means now really as it can take a while for the trap to ‘settle in’ and for the mustelid to loose it’s natural fear of the trap – and then get caught! Lets approach DOC for some DOC 200’s – happy to help set them out. Karen

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