There are three species of mustelids in New Zealand: stoats (Mustela erminea), ferrets (Mustela furo) and weasels (Mustela nivalis).
Species – The mustelid most likely to occur in the Eastern Bays are stoats, although llikely only in small numbers.
Habitat – Mustelids occur in a range of different habitat types, with ferrets preferring open country. Mustelids will often follow stream edges, bushland edges, ridges, fencelines, fallen trees, tracks and roads.
Threat – Stoats are ferocious predators and are the number one killer of New Zealand’s endangered species. Stoats and weasels are good swimmers and can prey on animals up to three times their body weight.
Home range – stoats have a home range of 200 ha