Dollar Mouse’ - eradicating mice from the Antipodes Islands
Dollar Mouse pest eradication project on the Antipodes Island in
the sub-Antarctic was completed in mid-July. The islands lie
760km east of Dunedin.
Touted as the
most challenging pest eradication ever carried out in New
Zealand, the project was described by Conservation Minister
Maggie Barry as a “globally significant conservation
achievement, safeguarding a unique, remote and forbidding land
and the many extraordinary species living there.”
The islands are
home to endemic species such as the Reischek’s and Antipodes
Island parakeets, snipe and pipit, thousands of seabirds and
helicopters were used to drop 65 tonnes of bait to the island.
Total eradication of mice cannot be confirmed until a monitoring
team visit the island in 2018.
information about Million Dollar Mouse at:
Gains from Mammal
A recent paper
by Jones et .al.,1 reviewed available literature and
databases and used expert interviews to estimate the global
conservation benefits of invasive mammal eradications on
islands. The research quantifies the benefits to native island
fauna of removing invasive mammals. Islands house
disproportionately high biodiversity compared with mainlands;
they occupy 5.5% of the terrestrial surface area but contain
more than 15% of terrestrial species, 61% of all recently
extinct species, and 37% of all critically endangered species on
the International Union of the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red
Jones et .al.,
found 236 native terrestrial faunal species that had benefitted
from 251 eradications of invasive mammals on 181 islands. Seven
native species were negatively impacted by mammal eradication.
Four threatened species had their IUCN Red List extinction-risk
categories reduced as a direct result of invasive mammal
eradication, and no species moved to a higher risk category.
predict that 107 highly threatened birds, mammals, and reptiles
on the IUCN Red List likely have benefitted from mammal
eradications on islands. Overall, Jones et .al., conclude that
their results highlight the importance of invasive mammal
eradication on islands for protecting the world’s most
Beach Models Saving
Paris seabird models are being used to encourage Little Terns to
nest. These seabirds that are found throughout Europe and in
parts of Africa, India, New Zealand. Little Terns are migratory,
and travel to favourable nesting sites for breeding. Busy
beaches have become less welcoming to the birds, and their
numbers have been steadily declining.
placed on beaches where the terns like to nest have successfully
et. al., 2016. Invasive mammal eradication on islands results in
substantial conservation gains. PNAS, April 12 2016, vol
113, no.15 pp 4033-4038.
Great Mercury Island (Ahuahu) has been added to the list of pest
and predator free islands of the Hauraki Gulf. Minister of
Conservation Maggie Barry made the announcement on Great Mercury
islands are owned by David Richwhite and Sir Michael Fay.
After the rat
eradication in 2014, two years of surveillance and regular
pest-hunting dog patrols have found no rodents remaining on the
1872 hectare island.
Predator and pest free islands of the Hauraki Gulf (shaded in
Great Mercury Islands are at bottom right. Image: Google Earth,
eastern Coromandel islands are home to a tusked weta found
nowhere else in the world, kaka, saddleback, little spotted
kiwi, tuatara, ten different species of lizards and hundreds of
thousands of seabirds.
representative from Ngati Hei, Joe Davis said at the ceremony
that having the group of islands pest free will have a positive
effect on the whole of Hauraki.
Hauraki, every island that they can restore is a move in the
right direction. It gives our flora and fauna a way better
chance of survival on these islands."
starting to deal with the social and cultural aspects of the
restoration," he said.
how people relate with the environment and we're telling people
about the dangers of the pests being on the islands.”
of Conservation, www.stuff.co.nz)
Issue 36 Winter 2016