Team Depart Antipodes!

The monitoring team. Photo by F. Cox

Written by Juzah Zammit=Ross on 15th March 2018

After 23 days on the Antipodes Island the final days of the outcome monitoring trip are here. We are packing up the hut and buckets of gear and empty fuel containers are lined up at the derrick winch ready to be winched down to Hut Cove for pick up by chartered vessel the Evohe. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for the weather to calm down for the pickup and three-day voyage back to Dunedin.

The team have collected the 260 tracking tunnels from the field, pitfall and moth traps pack up. Distance sampling for terrestrial bird species has been completed and snipe encounters noted. The rodent detector dogs have searched high and low for mice and are looking forward to a well-deserved rest.  The monitoring team are also ready for a rest, the hummocky uneven ground, head high tussock and ferns and seabird burrows island make field work challenging. The data from the outcome monitoring has been collected and sent to the Island Eradication Advisory groups. Technical advisors will analyse the data and will determine the outcome of the mouse eradication. Watch this space to find out the result of this four year eradication project.

Ready to leave. Photo by Luke Padgett

Tracking tunnels packed up. Photo by F. Cox

We have become a close knit team and the hut has become a second home. The team have worked hard during the day and have spent the evenings bonding over Catan, cards and Ghost pepper hot sauce challenges. Friendships have been forged on this wild and beautiful Subantarctic island. Hopefully we can come back in the future and find the wildlife thriving.

The team successfully departed the island this morning and are due back on the mainland on Tuesday. The results will be posted on their return…watch this space!

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