Department of Conservation Murihiku Operations Manager, Tony Preston:
“Transporting 18 staff, 65 tonnes of bait and 30 tonnes of fuel across 800 kilometres of southern ocean was just the start of one of the most complex island eradication operations that DOC has ever attempted. The Antipodes Island Million Dollar Mouse team has done a phenomenal job of completing the operation in our best scenario timeframe. The detailed planning and careful execution using every window of good weather has paid off in the successful and safe delivery of two bait applications across the island.
We are super proud of this team which includes two staff from Island Conservation and three from helicopter company Island Aerial Solutions.
The Million Dollar Mouse project shows the power of collaboration to achieve what only a decade ago seemed an insurmountable task, and provides lessons as we turn our attention to the Predator Free New Zealand goal for 2050. When we work together great things can be achieved. Thanks heaps to very generous support from our partners: the New Zealand public, Morgan Foundation, Island Conservation and WWF-New Zealand.”
Gareth Morgan, Morgan Foundation:
“It’s a great day, now the Million Dollar Mouse team are returning home from the Antipodes. What started as just an idea during a trip to the subantarctics back in 2012 is now a reality – amazing. And a real tribute to the fine planning and execution that DOC have put together, once again showing their skills in these island eradications. Congratulations to Stephen Horn and the team. Looking forward to hearing your stories.”
WWF-New Zealand Executive Director, Chris Howe:
“The ecological gains from island eradications are significant, in relation to the restoration and security of biodiversity. Antipodes Island is an ecological treasure and a World Heritage site, and this mission works to ensure the ecosystem, flora and fauna are protected in the future, including the critically endangered Antipodean wandering albatross. Protecting biodiversity strongholds such as Antipodes Island is a priority for WWF – safeguarding what is left and preventing further loss of species through extinction.”
Island Conservation’s Project Director, Richard Griffiths:
“We are thrilled that the Antipodes operation went so well and are extremely proud to have been part of the project’s implementation. Island Conservation’s staff who formed part of the project team can return with heads held high. Not only did their expertise contribute to the successful implementation of the project but they also gained significantly from working with a highly skilled team from the Department of Conservation. Friendships formed during the operation will endure beyond the project’s implementation.
We are now looking forward to discussing plans for removing invasive species from another of NZ’s sub-Antarctic islands (the Auckland Island’s) and hope that the Antipodes mouse eradication will be the catalyst for future collaborations with the NZ Department of Conservation.”