A stoat being hunted on Kapiti Island for three months has been found dead in a trap.
Department of Conservation staff had placed 160 traps throughout the bird sanctuary near Wellington since the pest was first spotted and a half-eaten kakariki found in November last year.
DoC ranger Clint Purches says the dead stoat was discovered by a contractor in a decomposed state.
Mr Purches says sniffer dogs will return to the island later in February and monitoring and trapping work could continue for up to a year to ensure that any more stoats are eradicated.
DoC estimates the operation has cost about $70,000.