Ooowh!! I Don't Think I'm Welcome Here.. - Stoat - NZ

AndreaEL

Gore, New Zealand

Artist's Description

Please view large…A cute but unwelcome face at “Tranquillity” The stoat is a member of the mustelid family, along with weasels and ferrets. It was introduced to New Zealand in the 1880s to control rabbits and hares.
The value of conservation is better understood by an appreciation of lost biodiversity. New Zealand’s greatest biological loss is 42 percent of its’ terrestrial birds since human settlement 700 years ago. The 57 extinct birds evolved in an isolated land, and without mammal predators, developed various levels of flightlessness, ground feeding and nesting habits. There are a number of threatened spices on the brink of extinction in New Zealand like the black stilt for example where there were only 100 birds left in the world.

Ooowh!! I Don’t Think I’m Welcome Here.. – Stoat

Stoats are now considered “public enemy number one” for New Zealand birds. Agile and excellent climbers, stoats hunt at any time, day or night. Home ranges are generally large 60-200ha, and considerable distances can be travelled in short periods. Stoats are implicated in the extinction of some indigenous bird species (bush wren, laughing owl, native thrush) and as the major cause of decline of many others (kokako, takahe, kaka, mohua, Hutton’s shearwater, kakapo, kakariki, the Okarito kiwi and other kiwi species).
They are known predators of many other native birds and also feed heavily on reptiles and invertebrates. Predation of young kiwi, chiefly by stoats, is currently the most important factor contributing to the continuing decline of mainland kiwi populations. New research will look for better ways to protect kiwi from stoats. Evidence shows stoats and possums are eating Kea. Researchers using nest-cameras have for the first time witnessed the gruesome reality inside defenceless bird nests invaded by stoats and possums. The stoat did not purchase a ticket and fly to New Zealand to destroy the wildlife, man is responsible for this, it is not the Ferret’s fault, he is only doing what nature intended him to do, he has no clue he is in the wrong country with a bounty on his head….

I am really passionate about this, I love nature and all her creatures. This stoat however is a very unwelcome guest at “Tranquillity”. The little Silver-Duckwing chickens raised by hand with love and care are part of our family, they are smaller than a Kea parrot. I am like a distressed mum who knows there is danger out there…. having lost our beloved Chickadee to a stoat last year…
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Southland New Zealand

Kea – New Zealand

Ooowh!! I Don’t Think I’m Welcome Here.. – Stoat

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