DOC dog teams hunt for kiwi killer
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionA highly-trained dog is working at Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre as the hunt continues for the predators threatening kiwi in the reserve.
Date: 12 August 2010
A highly-trained dog is working at Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre as the hunt continues for the predators threatening kiwi in the reserve.
DOC staff suspect ferrets are behind the recent attacks which have left nine kiwi dead in the 940 hectare reserve.
The Border/Terrier dog is specially trained to track predators like ferrets and stoats and has been working in the reserve over the past week as DOC staff step up their efforts to find and trap the kiwi killers.
DOC Wairarapa Area Manager Chris Lester said: “We’re pulling out all the stops to hunt this killer down. These dogs are specially trained for just this kind of work and along with intensive re-baiting and trap checking – we’re hoping to remove the threat to the kiwi.”
The team had some success yesterday with the discovery of a second ferret in one of the more than 500 traps in the reserve. It is expected to be a couple of days before tests on the ferret’s stomach will reveal whether or not it has been eating kiwi.
Chris Lester says the reserve covers a large area and it’s too early to say whether this animal is responsible for the kiwi attacks.
“It’s encouraging news and it shows that the trapping programme is having some success but controlling predators like ferrets is an on-going battle and it will probably take some weeks before we can be sure we’ve removed the killer.”
Chris Lester says DOC is committed to a full review of its predator control systems once the immediate threat to the kiwi is removed.
“Trying to create an unfenced sanctuary for kiwi in an 920 hectare reserve is an ambitious programme and we are calling for all the support we can get to make the area as safe as possible for the kiwi.”
Wairarapa Area Manager
Department of Conservation
+64 6 377 0700, +64 27 221 7166