The challenging work to rid Antipodes Island of mice is one step closer. A large commitment has been made by the Department of Conservation (DOC) to provide the additional funding required to carry out the eradication in winter 2016.
DOC will provide between $2.2 million and $3 million, supported by significant financial contributions from the Morgan Foundation, WWF–NZ and public donations to the Morgan Foundation’s Million Dollar Mouse campaign. The final cost will depend on the weather, which will largely determine how long the job takes to complete.
DOC and the project partners are committed to completing the eradication and increasing awareness of the natural values of New Zealand’s Subantarctic region. Ridding Antipodes Island of mice will protect its unique wildlife for good.
The project team is planning transport and logistics. This is progressing well despite the remote and challenging Subantarctic environment.
The next step is finalising contracts for helicopter and shipping services in November this year. We have been working through logistical issues of protecting helicopters while they are stationed on the island. Damage to a parked helicopter from a storm would be the end of the project, so a large temporary shelter will be erected.
A site visit will take place in March 2016 when the Navy ship HMNZS Canterbury will deliver a construction team and materials to build a temporary helicopter platform for the hangar. A Navy Seasprite helicopter will be in support to offload materials.
The eradication phase will begin in June 2016. A charter vessel will deliver the bait, fuel, DOC team, pilots and the helicopters required to carry out aerial spreading of bait. The main challenge will be the weather for shipping, unloading and helicopter operations.
We will keep you informed about progress of the project and key milestones. Blogs on the Million Dollar Mouse website and the project page on the DOC website are great resources for further information. See: