A dead mouse has been ceremoniously buried by conservation department staff after is was trapped on the pest-free island of Mokoia on Lake Rotorua.
Rotorua Lakes area manager Phil Alley said the staff found mouse tracks in a bait station which sparked a hunt.
"We're reasonably confident the adult male mouse that we found was the animal that left footprints in the trap," Mr Alley says.
Bait traps will be monitored once a week for a month and if there's no more rodent calling cards found, monitoring will be scaled back to once a month.
The find has cost DoC $12,000 including bringing three predator dogs on to the island to sniff out the mouse.
DoC staff began clearing the island of mice, rats and goats in 1989 and in 2003 it was declared pest free.
It is now home to some of New Zealand's most endangered birds, including kiwi, North Island robin and weka.
"There's a healthy population of North Island robin on the island, some of them have been moved to Mayor Island in the Bay of Plenty and a lot have been sent to Waitakere. It's an indication of what you get when you remove the pests," Mr Alley said.