The Mouse-Free Marion (MFM) Project is working to eradicate the introduced House Mice Mus musculus that have taken to attacking and killing albatrosses and petrels on South Africa’s sub-Antarctic Marion Island. Last week, the MFM Project released the 7th issue of its Quarterly Newsletter.
Leaping into spring on Marion Island. From left “birders” (ornithological researchers) Chris Jones, Mpumelelo Mabutyana, Michelle Risi and Kyle Maurer get airborne; photograph from Michelle Risi
In this latest issue you can read:
A Welcome Editorial by MFM Project Manager Anton Wolfaardt on the reasons why the eradication exercise is now set to take place in the austral winter of 2026 (read more on the postponemement here).
Announcement of three new International Patrons to join His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh and seabird author and illustrator Peter Harrison MBE. They are well-known Antarctic scientist and conservationist Professor Steven Loudon Chown FAA, South African businesswoman Gloria Tomatoe Serobe and Christel Takigawa, anchorwoman based in Japan.
Two overwintering researchers currently on the island write about their work. Camilla Smyth, MFM’s current field worker, describes her role in planning for the mouse eradication, and Michelle Risi writes about the welcome seasonal changes on Marion Island heading into austral spring.
Scalped by Marion’s mice. This Light-mantled Albatross Phoebetria palpebrata chick is certain to have died as a result, photograph by Peter Ryan
Access all MFM’s Quarterly Newsletters here. More information can be found in weekly posts to MFM News on the project’s website and on social media via Facebook and Instagram. And you can become part of the project by sponsoring a hectare (or more), joining 1650 concerned conservationists who have already done so.
John Cooper, Emeritus Information Officer, Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, 19 October 2023