Secondary poisoning of mustelids in a New Zealand Nothofagus forest



Eleven radio-tagged stoats (Mustela erminea) and one weasel (M. nivalis) died of secondary poisoning following Talon 20 PTM (20 ppm brodifacoum) poisoning operations which killed mice (Mus musculus), ship rats (Rattus rattus) and probably brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) in a New Zealand beech (Nothofagus) forest. This poisoning method could be an especially useful way of restoring New Zealand native bird populations because it kills several predator species in one operation. Potential unwanted side-effects must be researched before its routine use. This research also demonstrates the potential hazards of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides to conservation of rodent predators in Europe.