Eradication

The ‘Jesus bird’ is the unique name given to storm petrels, small seabirds of the family Hydrobatidae, for their characteristic ability to ‘walk’ on water. Storm petrels are remarkable creatures. With a body-weight about the same as a house sparrow, these seabirds can live for up to 30 years, and feed in the remote pelagic…

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Completely eradicating pests from an island is a major conservation achievement, such as the recently announced eradication of goats from 15,380 ha Aldabra atoll. However, reliably confirming the absence of a species is difficult, bringing to mind the famous mantra ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’. So how do eradication managers finally confirm…

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While we are working to clear Antipodes Island of mice, I recently learnt that one of New Zealand’s most important Nature Reserves, Maud Island, has been invaded by mice. Maud Island is a 318 hectare island in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds of the South Island of New Zealand. In late October 2013 biosecurity surveillance on…

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In July 2013 the New Zealand Department of Conservation and University of Auckland jointly led a mid-winter trip to Antipodes Island in the remote New Zealand subantarctic, with support from the National Geographic Society. Four scientists travelled on the 50 ft yacht ‘Tiama’ and researched the terrestrial ecology of the island in preparation for eradication…

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Nearly 100 years ago a shipwreck brought mice to the hard-to-reach Antipodes Islands just north of the Antarctic circle. Fast forward to today and the mice have devastated the island’s native species. National Geographic Grantee James Russell will embark on a four-week expedition, where the team will study the island’s natural resources to determine if…

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