News

PAPP for Stoat Control - In Partnership with DoC

DoC, News, PAPP, RnD Product, Stoats -

“Looks can be deceiving”, aptly describes a stoat. With reddish-brown fur on the back and cream coloured belly, stoats are cute little creatures that live in our native forests and also around human settlements. As warm as they look, stoats are natural born killers and their nasty little habits have had an adverse effect on our native wildlife species. Dwindling numbers of New Zealand’s birdlife has resulted in stoats now being identified as ‘public enemy number one’. 

Picture Credit - Connovation

Interesting Facts About Stoats

Stoats have been spotted pretty much anywhere in New Zealand including beaches, farmlands, pastures or even treetops. They are found in areas where they can find their food. Stoats are intense hunters that can travel up to 8kms in search of food. 

Their primary diet includes rabbits however, they also target rats, birds, eggs, fish, insects, amphibians and more. They are also capable of killing animals larger than their size. Stoats are finely tuned athletes as they are skilful tree climbers, quick swimmers and they can run at a speed of 32 kms per hour.  

Lesser-known facts: When more food is available than required, stoats engage in ‘surplus killing’ where they store the extra remains for later as they thrive on dead species too. Another uncommon fact about stoats is their olfactory system – they have a sensitive sense of smell giving them the ability to identify their prey from miles away.

Effect on NZ birdlife

Picture Credit: Phil Botha

Stoats have been strongly associated with the extinction of several species like bush wren, laughing owl and New Zealand thrush. Wrybills, the New Zealand dotterel, black-fronted terns and young kiwi’s are target prey for stoats while also targeting eggs, chicks and incubating adults of mohua, kākā and yellow-crowned kakariki.

The Department of Conservation (DoC) is undertaking trials to test different methods to control the stoat population in New Zealand. Considering stoats communicate through scent and their immense love for rabbits, Connovation has produced Erayz, a rabbit-based bait to lure them into the trap. 

Stoat control projects have been ongoing and Connovation together with DOC has been investing time and effort in the innovation and development of stoat control products.

 

Picture Credit - Connovation

Current control methods – mainly trapping and secondary poisoning – can be effective but have limitations. New tools are needed to remove predators at a landscape level, and PAPP- based tools will contribute to this.

Partnering with the Department of Conservation:

Picture Credit - Connovation

Connovation has partnered with the Department of Conservation’s Biodiversity Team to develop ways to use PAPP (para-aminopropiophenone) as a landscape control tool for the elimination of Stoats and Feral Cats in our environment. The latest update from DoC can be found here >> CLICK HERE

Picture Credit - Steve Hix

Conclusion 

Each one of us can contribute towards saving Aotearea’s taonga and adopt stoat control measures to achieve our goal of Predator Free 2050.

Related Articles

PAPP Project Update - By DoC

https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/pests-and-threats/animal-pests/stoats/

https://animalcorner.org/animals/stoat/