Mustelids are a diverse group of small to medium-sized, meat eating animals.
Three species occur in New Zealand, the ferret, the stoat, and the weasel.
Ferret - Stoat -Weasel
Mustelids were first introduced in the 1880s to control New Zealand’s growing rabbit plagues (another introduced species out of control). Unfortunately they had a limited effect on rabbit populations but are now the main predator of rodents and birds over the whole country.
Mustelids are a major threat to the survival of New Zealand’s native birds and animals.
Mustelids enter the nests of our precious creatures, they eat the eggs and the young.
Flightless birds (such as kiwi), and birds that nest in holes (such as kaka) are particularly vulnerable.
Kaka's make wood chipped lined nests in holes in trees, here the healthy clutch of eggs are vulnerable to pillaging by mustelids. The new chicks are also a tasty meal for these pests.
Predator Free 2050 have funded a Taranaki group to eradicate pests from their region.
Created with images by Wolfgang Hasselmann - "untitled image" • Zdeněk Macháček - "untitled image" • Zdeněk Macháček - "untitled image" • Brent Jones - "Weasel, Kodiak Island, Alaska" • Aneta Foubíková - "Tui bird sitting on branch in New Zealand." • Simon Infanger - "Tuatara in Otorahanga, New Zealand"