What do predators eat for supper? Burkes Pass Scenic Reserve predator stomach content analysis for 2010-2011

Burkes Pass Scenic Reserve, Mackenzie Basin, New Zealand is home to the only known population of the critically endangered Canterbury knobbled weevil, Hadramphus tuberculatus. Major threats to the weevil include introduced predators and habitat loss through weed invasion, herbivores and fire. This report investigates the stomach contents of predators trapped in a 185 hectare perimeter around the reserve. Trapping was conducted by Environment Canterbury from December 2010 to April 2011. The stomachs of hedgehogs, ferrets, feral cats and stoats were analysed and contents were recorded. Hedgehogs consumed the highest amount of invertebrates, present in 20%, and ferrets were the most abundant predator caught; however, no evidence of H. tuberculatus was found in any predator stomachs. We suggest predator trapping continue as part of future management of the reserve to protect not only the endangered weevil species but also other fauna including the recently identified and possibly rare invertebrates and the endemic skink found there.
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