A team of 10 scientists, volunteers, builders, engineers, plumbers, and electricians will set sail for the Antipodes Islands in the next few days to begin the next phase of the Million Dollar Mouse campaign.
Their main goal will be to repair damage to the main biodiversity hut. It was badly damaged in a landslip at the start of this year and will serve as the main base for the eradication that is proposed for the winter of 2015.
The scientific team will be researching what species are on the island and how they are affected by mice. While mice are widespread on the main island, two of the northern islands (Bollons and Archway Islands) have not been colonized. Scientists will try to land on Bollons to make sure that mice are not present. They will also be surveying the flora and fauna to understand how it is different from the mouse-infested southern islands.
Travelling to the Antipodes Islands is no easy feat. The group will be on board the 25 metre yacht, EVOHE, which will be loaded with supplies for the hut repair as well as enough food and fuel to last the 18 day trip. Depending on the weather and ocean conditions, it could take 2 – 3 days of sailing to arrive at the Antipodes.