Lou Sanson commends the eradication expedition

Norfolk Guardian crew on left, Eradication team on right. Photo by F. Cox

Norfolk Guardian Crew on left, Eradication team on right. Photo by F. Cox

The rest of the Eradication team are now underway on the Norfolk Guardian having left Timaru last night at 7pm, following the Evohe to Antipodes Island.

Lou Sanson, Director-General, Department of Conservation shares a few words of acknowledgement regarding the Million Dollar Mouse project to eradicate mice from the World Heritage Site of Antipodes Island.

Today I want to acknowledge the Antipodes Island mice eradication crew, who have departed this week to begin their pest control operations on the remote island. This is the culmination of years of planning and leadership from Stephen Horn and many others, internal and external.

The project is our most ambitious island eradication project since Campbell in 2002. It has suffered a few setbacks, such as delays to a supply mission when RNZ Navy ships were redeployed to the Cyclone Winston relief effort in Fiji. However, the team is now travelling down through the Southern Ocean in mid-winter to begin this most significant island eradication project.

The project has involved three years of research and preparation, including our science team working through all the risks to unique wildlife on the Antipodes.

It has raised significant funding from the likes of The Morgan Foundation, World Wildlife Foundation New Zealand, Island Conservation and members of the public through Million Dollar Mouse campaign.

My first exposure to the project was meeting Gareth Morgan and Andy Roberts in 2012, on a ship coming back from Antarctica. They said they had this big idea for a ‘Million Dollar Mouse’ project… and the rest is now history.

Track their journey

News update: The Evohe have arrived safely at Antipodes Island. Stay posted for more updates.