Serious bird predator on Horseshoe Island!!!

Footprints of a mustelid, probably a weasel or a stoat, were seen on Horseshoe Island on Saturday, barely five metres from the nest site of the endangered variable oystercatcher in recent years.

Oystercatcher eggs and chicks would have no hope against one of these aggressive predators of native birds, particularly ground-nesters.  Before the next nesting season we should set stoat traps on the island in the hope of removing the risk and improving the chances of successful nesting of the birds.

Predator trapping should be considered on a longer term basis for the island, as re-invasion would be easy for mustelids which could cross the sand flats at low tide from the mainland with ease particularly at night.