Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Rodent-detection dogs to search New Zealand's Antipodes Island to confirm the mice have been eradicated

ACAP Latest News has regularly reported on the Million Dollar Mouse project that led to the attempt to eradicate introduced House Mice Mus musculus on New Zealand’s Antipodes Island. After a period of fund raising and planning, poison bait was dropped by helicopter over the island in July last year.

Now safe from mice? A pair of globally Vulnerable Antipodean Albatrosses Diomedea antipodensis on Antipodes Island, photograph by Erica Sommer

Over a year on with it considered possible the mice have now gone, the Predator Free New Zealand Trust has reported on the next steps:

“At least two mouse breeding seasons after the eradication attempt, a team of two rodent detection dogs and their handlers will work with a small team of monitoring staff to search the island for sign of mice. Monitoring tools may also include ink-tracking cards, wax tags and chew cards designed to show the presence of mice. It would not be possible to efficiently detect the presence of mice prior to this as the island is difficult to get around and the likelihood of detecting one or two individuals is too low. The eradication is a one-off attempt. The result monitoring will show whether it was successful or not and at this stage the result can be declared” (click here).

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 27 October 2017