From: Tony Crocker <>
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2004 11:29:01 +1300
Hi all

As a Kiwi and sometime resident of Australia, all I can say is that anything that can be done should be done if it reduces the risk of ferrets establishing as feral populations. I expect it is only luck that has stopped that happening before now.

Ferrets are ferocious predators of birds, as well as taking rabbits. They are widespread throughout most of NZ and, together with stoats and weasels (together referred to as mustelids, Mustelea spp), do significant damage to NZ's avifauna. I saw one last season on its way to a Caspian Tern colony, and they are regularly taken in traps for predators at a highly significant riverbed (Wrybills, Double-banded Plovers breeding etc) close to where I live. They are also called, variously, polecats and fitches, and are much larger than stoats and the rather tiny but very vicious weasel. They are lovely and very impressive animals... in Europe, where they belong.

The only significant predator which Australia has but which NZ managed to avoid is foxes (thank goodness). Every other imported pest has caused havoc among NZ's birds. Australia most certainly shouldn't be running the risk of yet another feral menace with a proven track record. Sign the petition, I'd say, and keep Qld mustelid-free - even if other states have not woken up to the hazard yet.


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