The home range of stoats (Mustela erminea) was determined as part of a programme to protect Okarito brown kiwi chicks (Apteryx australis) ‘Okarito’, from predation. Twenty-seven stoats were fitted with radio-transmitters and tracked in two podocarp (Podocarpaceae) forests, in south Westland, New Zealand, from July 1997 to May 1998. Home-range area was determined for 19 animals by minimum convex polygons and restricted-edge polygons, and core areas were determined by hierarchical cluster analysis. The mean home ranges of males across all seasons calculated by minimum convex polygon (210 +/- 28 ha (+/- s.e.)) and restricted-edge polygon (176 +/- 29 ha) were significantly larger than those of females across all seasons (89 +/- 14 ha and 82 +/- 12 ha). The mean home range of males calculated by minimum convex polygon during the breeding season (256 +/- 38 ha) was significantly larger than the mean home range pooled across the non-breeding seasons (149 +/- 16 ha), whereas that calculated by restricted-edge polygon was not significantly different. The mean home range of females during the breeding season was not significantly different from that in the non-breeding seasons when estimated by either method. Overlap of home ranges was observed within and between sexes in all seasons, with the greatest proportion of home range overlap being male-female. The mean home range of females in spring and summer is used to guide the spacing of control stations.
|Author||C. Miller, M. Elliot and N. Alterio|
|Secondary title||Wildlife Research|