Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


A tabby cat has been spotted on Moutohorā (Whale Island) Wildlife Management Reserve.

Date:  03 October 2016

DOC has taken immediate action by resourcing a conservation dog and handler, placing additional traps, and establishing an intensive monitoring programme. Te Tapatoru ā Toi, who jointly manages the island, has been briefed and is fully supportive of DOC’s actions. Responding to incursions on pest-free islands can cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.

Given that Moutohorā is a pest-free island home to several rare and threatened species, the seriousness of a predator incursion cannot be understated. Biodiversity Ranger Paul Hunter notes that decades of work has gone into re-establishing vulnerable species such as tuatara, tīeke/saddleback, kiwi, and kākāriki back onto the island. “These taonga are very susceptible to introduced predators and this incursion puts them all at risk.”

Moutohorā is 8 km off the mainland and it is illegal for the public to land on the island. The question of how a cat finds its way to the pest-free sanctuary remains unanswered.

DOC is interested in hearing from anyone who might have more information. The public can ring the DOC Whakatāne Office at +64 7 307 2770.

Only last week, TVNZ One News featured Moutohorā and its use as a sanctuary for the Whakatāne kiwi population.


Neil Hutton, DOC Community Ranger
Phone: +64 7 308 7079

Paul Hunter, DOC Biodiversity Ranger
Phone: +64 7 307 2779

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