A stoat killed by 1080 in Mt Aspiring National Park two years ago ~ photo southernlight.co.nz
New Zealand’s imported predator the stoat, is quite an amazing animal, somewhat beautiful too, until you look at it’s claws and teeth!
They have a very fast metabolism, thus needing constant snacks, and they don’t live to a ripe old age. Most stoats [less than about 20 percent] live less than one year, but adult mortality is lower and a few may reach 6-8 years of age. We’ve found that in winter their coat turns white in snowy environments.
In summer they’re more the colour in the photos, and they can travel vast distances, even in water, and often kill for no good reason. Young females are impregnated by their fathers too, and can with-hold birthing until optimum conditions prevail.
In other words, stoats seem born to kill. Imported into New Zealand many years ago to control rabbits, it’s turned out native birds and invertebrates make for easier meals, and this is why this research below is a real break through in our attempts to rid the country of this pest…
When it comes to trapping our bird-killing pest predators, a little bit of potent ferret stench could be the missing ingredient. That’s according to a quirky experiment on a remote Hawke’s Bay farm…