Stoat Eradication

Project Objective
To remove all stoats from Pomona and Rona Islands.
To trap as quickly as possible any stoats that do swim across to the islands.

Background
Stoats are found throughout the Fiordland area. Traps set by DOC and the local Manapouri community on both islands showed that stoats would occasionally swim to the islands. A single stoat can kill much of the birdlife of the islands in a very short space of time.

Method Used
Following the signing of a Management Agreement with DOC early in 2006,  9.2km of track was flagged and then cut on Pomona Island. A total of 37 tunnels each containing two Mark IV Fenn traps were then placed along the track network. In August 2006, the tunnels were pre-baited with meat and an egg. A week later the traps were checked (all the eggs and meat had gone except in one tunnel), rebaited and the traps armed. Five days after that, the traps were checked for the first time and two stoats and 16 rats were caught. Monthly checking of this trap network then took place until 2008. Since then quarterly checks have taken place.

On the mainland adjacent to Pomona, 1.5km of track was cut in September 2006. Some 24 double-set Mark IV Fenn traps were placed on the track and first set in November 2006. This trap line has been adopted by the Southland Trailer Yacht Squadron who check the traps monthly.

On Rona Island, 4 double Fenn trap stoat tunnels were placed and set around the shoreline during February 2007.

Additional protection, through two trap lines on the mainland opposite Rona Island, was also provided in October 2008. The Fenn traps on Pomona and the adjacent mainland were replaced by stainless steel DOC 150 traps at the same time.

Since August 2006 the trap network on Pomona has caught 18 stoats and 312 rats, and on Rona the network has caught three stoats.

Current Status
A stoat was trapped on Pomona in November 2007. Three further stoats were trapped on Pomona in February 2010. Small numbers of stoats are caught infrequently on Pomona.
A single stoat was trapped on Rona in January 2008. In February 2013, 6 stoats were caught on Rona. Extensive searching with a dog found no further evidence of stoats. DNA testing suggests that the stoats were all related to each other.

Thanks to:
The Pomona Island Charitable Trust's "Buy a stoat trap" scheme
Gary Chisholm Family Trust (through the Fiordland Conservation Trust) for trap replacement and extension of the mainland trap lines.
Gary Chisholm Family Trust for further extension of the mainland trap lines.
Friends of Pomona and the Trust's general funds.



Pomona Island Charitable Trust
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Pomona Island Charitable Trust
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