The first project in the partnership, launched today at the Peregrine Winery, will see six new trap lines set in the north-east corner of Resolution Island, Dusky Sound, intensifying the current island-wide network of almost 3000 traps.
Fraser McLachlan, CEO of Peregrine Wines said the company was excited to be involved in the project:
"The aim is to remove any remaining stoats in the north-east corner of the island, as well as intercept any that swim across from the mainland."
"This will allow vulnerable native species, such as tīeke/saddleback to be returned to this part of the island."
"And if we remove stoats from Resolution Island altogether, well, the sky's the limit."
Resolution Island, situated between Dusky and Breaksea Sounds, is New Zealand's fifth largest island. It has no rats or possums, and stoats are maintained to very low numbers due to an ongoing and extensive trapping programme.
Greg Lind, DOC Operations Manager in Te Anau, said that at 21,000ha, Resolution Island is a strategic hot-spot for landscape-scale conservation:
"Its size and remoteness makes it an ideal potential breeding sanctuary for a wide variety of highly endangered native species."
"Removing stoats from the island could pave the way for the reintroduction of threatened species such as tīeke/saddleback and kākāpō, as well as allowing current populations of mohua/yellowhead, kea, kiwi and rock wren to flourish."
Lindsay Wilson, DOC Principal Ranger (Biodiversity) said that realizing the vision of stoat elimination on Resolution Island required the current DOC150 trap network to be intensified with an additional 28 new trap lines of Goodnature A24 self-resetting traps:
"This higher trap density has been effective at eradicating stoats from Chalky, Anchor and Coal Islands in Fiordland. The upgrade will create a highly efficient island network of kill-traps with the potential to not only to remove the residual stoat population, but also intercept future stoat incursions."
"With thanks to Peregrine Wines, we're now a quarter of the way to achieving our goal," Lindsay Wilson said.
Achieving and maintaining a stoat-free status for Resolution Island would be a significant step toward realizing New Zealand's Predator Free 2050 ambition.
Peregrine Wines is family owned, organic wine producer based in Central Otago. Previous Fiordland conservation projects undertaken by Peregrine Wines include tīeke transfers to Chalky (2008) and Bauza (2010) Islands, and a mohua transfer to Resolution Island in 2011.