4 Mar 2013

DoC confident Kapiti Island pest-free

8:26 pm on 4 March 2013

The Department of Conservation is confident Kapiti Island is free of pests.

DoC says it set up an extensive stoat control programme on the island near Wellington at a cost of $600,000 following the sighting of a stoat in 2010.

Spokesperson Colin Giddy says over the past three years, DoC has set 200 traps accompanied by nearly 500 tracking tunnels spread across the island, backed up by sweeps by specialist stoat detection dogs.

Mr Giddy says the latest sweep was completed last week, with no sign of any stoats.

Dogs will not search the island any more, but traps will remain in place.

Mr Giddy says the cost of the programme should fall now dogs are no longer being used.