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We have been anchored in Ringdove Bay for the last few days, finding shelter from the wind. We have had intermittent gusts of northwesterly wind reach up to 50 knots, but hope it will finally ease overnight. After 8 days on the EVOHE the crew is anxious to get on the island to start digging out the landslide and repairing the damage it caused to the biodiversity hut. Because we are attempting to land in Hut Cove at the northern end of the main island, we need to wait for a southerly wind to ease the northwestern swell.

THE ISLANDS

Found 860 kilometres south east of Stewart Island, the Antipodes Islands are one of New Zealand’s give Sub-Antarctic Islands.

The island group includes one main island, Bollons Island to the north and numerous small islets and stacks.

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Antipodes Island Parakeet - Photo by Kimberley Collins

THE SPECIES

The Islands support a number of endemic species, such as the Antipodes Island Parakeet and Snipe. They are a life-raft for numerous albatross, seals, petrels and penguins who use the islands to breed, feed and rest.

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THE PROBLEM Mice were introduced to the Antipodes in the middle of the 20th century, arriving in castaway depots from a Spanish ship that was wrecked nearby. They are the sole pest species on the islands and predate birds, invertebrates, and reptiles. Scientists have noted that their behavior becomes more like that of a rat when they are the sole mammalian species in an environment. If the species that call these islands home are to thrive, mice need to be eradicated from these islands.

THE PROBLEM

Mice were introduced to the Antipodes in the middle of the 20th century, As the sole pest species on the islands, they predate birds, invertebrates, and plants. If the island’s inhabitants are to thrive, mice need to be eradicated.

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THE SOLUTION

New Zealanders have raised $1 million towards eradicating mice from New Zealand’s Antipodes Islands and the Department of Conservation is about to start the task of getting every mouse off the Island.

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