The Department of Conservation (DOC) and New Zealand experts have led the world in rodent eradications, both locally and abroad.
Eradication is the intentional local extinction of introduced species.
With each eradication attempt, experience, knowledge and confidence in the techniques used grows and evolves. Larger and more challenging pest eradications have become possible and significant successful rodent eradications in New Zealand (excluding the Subantarctic region) includes; Kapiti Island (1965ha) in 1996, Raoul Island (2900ha) in 2002, Little Barrier (3080ha) in 2004 Rangitoto-Motutapu (4040ha) in 2009. A comprehensive list of eradication attempts globally can be found by following this link to the DIISE database.
In New Zealand to date there have been 41 islands where an attempt has been made to eradicate mice. Of these 30 were successful.
On the New Zealand Subantarctic Islands, DOC has successfully eradicated mice from Enderby Island (710ha) in 1993 and Norway rats from Campbell Island (11300ha) in 2001. One of the conservation aims of DOC is to eradicate all introduced mammalian pests off all the NZ Subantarctic Islands/Ngā Moutere O Murihiku Ki Tonga as resources allow. This long term goal is identified in the draft Conservation Management Strategy for Southland Murihiku 2015 -2025. There are two islands in the New Zealand Subantarctic which still have introduced mammalian pest species present. The main Auckland Island (46,000ha) has pigs, cats and mice and the Antipodes Islands have mice. The eradication of mice from Antipodes Islands is the next logical step.
The eradication of mice from the Antipodes (2045ha) is complex and challenging and the main challenges associated are the remoteness, at 750km south east of the New Zealand mainland, the lack of a harbour for shipping and the typically poor weather of the region. The largest island that mice were successfully eradicated from was 12,875ha Macquarie Island, Australia in 2011. This eradication of mice was in combination with ship rats and rabbits.
Antipodes will be the largest eradication where mice are the sole mammalian pest species.
Database of Island Invasive Species Eradications Read more
Conservation Management Strategy for Southland Murihiku 2015 -2025.draft Read more
50th Anniversary of rodent eradications in New Zealand Hear more