Predicting Predation - learning how to best protect alpine wildlife (warning "stomach" contents may offend; animal dissection)

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1. Please provide a brief summary of your video and research.

Our alpine wildlife is getting hammered by stoats.

Once thought of as somewhat of a refuge for wildlife due to the cold, it is now clear that stoats in alpine zone are preying heavilly on threatened and critically threatened bird species, like kea, takahe, kiwi and rock wren as well as alpine geckos and giant weta.


In an effort to reverse alpine biodiversity declines, stoat control has begun at alpine sites around the South Island. Problem is, the alpine zone is huge - over 18% of the total landmass of New Zealand. There is no way we can protect it all. My research focuses on identifying variation in what stoats eat in the alpine zone, in order to prioritise areas, times or native species at greater risk of predation.


Using a new biochemical technique I assess the chemical signature of stoat carcases in order to measure what stoats are eating, where, or rather, what is being eaten by stoats. Working with community trapping organisations, Department of Conservation offices, and contract trappers I analyse diet of stoats from four national parks, and assess how diet varies between sites, time periods or even individual stoats. This information will provide conservation managers with critical information to ensure they place their limited conservation resources where they will achieve the maximum gains in protecting our fantastic alpine fauna.

2. Do you have a video hashtag for sharing via twitter?

#alpineresearch

Comments

13
Robert Gough
8 months ago

We can't allow the unique environments of New Zealand to be swayed to some altered equilibrium that doesn't include the native wildlife. My limited exposure to this playground through biannual tramping trips, mostly to Fiordland, over the last 10 years has seen a marked decrease in the number of Kea in the region. Lets all get behind studies such as this to come up with rescue plans that will work.

Julia Graham
8 months ago

Great study, information is key to helping our natives.

Fraser Maddigan
7 months ago

Jamie, remarkable work, inspiring and so very profound. Keep up the fine work and one day we might be able to help assist our tough lil alpine friends thanks to people like yourself.......and me ha!! Fond memories, a tough place to work but nothing you cant handle :).

Philippa Doig
7 months ago

Brilliant, Jamie, well done for all that dissecting of stoats!!

Jamie McAulay
7 months ago

Thanks guys - hopefully this can translate into some better protection for all our fantastic alpine creatures!

Vicki Crosbie
7 months ago

Admire your passion and dedication to the cause. Great to know there are people doing the hard yards for a great cause.

jude gedye
7 months ago

Brilliant work Jamie. Amazing countryside,those misty mountains. Folks like me only see these by remote.
Love what you're doing.Great to contribute towards making a difference.

Dale Shirtliff
7 months ago

Great to see you involved in this vital research Jamie.

Alan Reader
7 months ago

clever idea to get to the real picture of what is happening. Well done Jamie.

Julia White
7 months ago

You will get my vote. My email address is rockwren (etc.) we are both little birds.

Mathew Howell
7 months ago

I love the facials Jamie, the stoats aren't so bad fresh but after a week or two. Keep up the good work.

Nick Page
7 months ago

Awesome stuff mate, keep it up and we should catch up when I get back to NZ

nola collie
7 months ago

tried to vote but it is closed :/ Amazing short film; beautiful cinematography with such a powerful message - I had no idea stoats lived at this height; have only seen them in valley floors and the bush at a low level. Keep up the great work

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MSc Student in conservation biology

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