A stoat has been caught in a trap on an island sanctuary near Nelson, sparking intensive trapping efforts to ensure it is the only one to make it ashore.
Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust volunteers found the dead stoat on Adele Island, part of the Abel Tasman National Park, on Friday, as part of their regular predator monitoring, said Department of Conservation Motueka area manager Martin Rodd.
"It's good that the trapping system on the island has done its job in catching the stoat," he said.
The traps had been checked a week beforehand but they did not know how long the stoat had been on the island.
The body will be sent to a specialist to determine its sex and, if it is a female, whether it might have recently given birth.
Extra traps will be set to catch stoats in case there are more and a stoat tracking dog will scour the island.
Adele Island was cleared of mice and stoats to become an island wildlife sanctuary and was confirmed predator-free in 2009, allowing the reintroduction of birdlife.
The 87ha island is just 800m from the coast. Last year a rat was caught on the island but it proved to be the only one.