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The Natural History of Weasels and StoatsEcology, Behavior, and Management$
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Carolyn M. King and Roger A. Powell

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195322712

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195322712.001.0001

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Stoats as Introduced Pests in New Zealand

Stoats as Introduced Pests in New Zealand

(p.329) 13 Stoats as Introduced Pests in New Zealand
The Natural History of Weasels and Stoats

Carolyn M. King

Roger A. Powell

Oxford University Press

New Zealand is the only country where stoats are serious introduced pests, and are especially well-studied there. This chapter summarizes the historic background of research funded by New Zealand conservation agencies, but important for understanding weasels everywhere, because the problems caused by invasive species are a matter of worldwide concern. The brown kiwi, New Zealand's national bird, is predicted to become extinct on the mainland outside specially protected sanctuaries within the next 20-50 years, largely due to predation by stoats and dogs. Several other species endemic to southern Beech forests are also very vulnerable to stoats. The chapter explains why and outlines what is being done to protect them. The section on deliberate poisoning might look startling, but it emphasizes the need for control of introduced pests in order to save endemic species, and the strict legislation ensuring all such work is done by humane means. The ultimate goal is community restoration.

Keywords:   invasive predators, historic extinctions, trapping, poisoning, bird conservation, Mustela

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