Antipodes March 2014051


Photo 2 Bollons Island from Antips. Photo by K. Walker

Antipodean albatross pair displaying (1), K Walker, Feb 2012

Antipodes, Penguin colony (1), K Walker, Jan 2012

G.Woodhouse Oct-Nov 2014


Fauna - Antipodes Island - Antipodes Island Parakeet - Apr 10 - Scott Jarvie

Landing stores off the boat Tiama. J.Russell

Million Dollar Mouse - Target Logo

July 2013 – Bait Trials and Ecological Study

A series of non toxic bait trials were undertaken to monitor the response and likely risk for birds on the island. A study of the mouse density and ecology was also undertaken. The results of these have helped form our approach going forward. Read more 

March 2014 – Hut Repairs and Albatross Research

A scheduled pickup of two albatross researchers by the HMNZS Wellington included work to salvage the island’s biodiversity hut, which was shifted and damaged by a massive landslip in January 2014.

May 2014 – Helicopters and Boats

At this time DOC start looking for helicopter and boat options to help with the eradication.

August 2014 – Pre-eradication Preparation

Winter trip to the Antipodes for some pre-eradication preparation including: hut repairs, non-target species monitoring, vegetation monitoring, husbandry trials on pipits and a survey of Bollons Island to check for mice and assess the populations of land birds.

October 2014

Initial evaluation of tender responses for the required Aviation and Shipping services.

November 2014 – Hut Repairs and Biodiversity Monitoring

DOC undertakes major repairs to slip damaged biodiversity hut after materials were delivered in August.

5 yearly Penguin Census trip (DOC pre-existing monitoring).

Pre-monitoring of skua, giant petrel and black backed gull.

Vegetation monitoring sites setup and pre-eradication monitoring conducted.

Bollons Island mouse monitoring. Confident that Bollons is free of mice.

Jan 2015 – Internal Hut Building

Wandering albatross scientists Graeme Elliott and Kath Walker undertake internal work on the biodiversity hut including painting, sanding and varnishing the floors, and with the help of volunteer Andrew Troup, installing a flue, a water tank and hooking up the plumbing system. The paint for the hut was kindly supplied by Dulux.

Late May 2016 – Charter Ship Departs for Antipodes Islands

Evohe and Norfolk Guardian vessels leave for Antipodes to transport and aerial off-load supplies to the island, including;  Aviation fuel, temporary accommodation structure, helicopters x 2, bait buckets, food, approx 12 personnel, other equipment including; generators, spare parts for machinery including helicopters and buckets, fuels, bait in weatherproof pods. Construct a temporary helicopter platform and hangar.Monitoring work on the outer islands to check for the presence of mice.

June 2016 – The Eradication

Two applications of bait – minimum 14 days apart.

Consent period ends 31st October.

Pack up (deconstruction of heli-platform, bait pods, hangar setup, accommodation, load ship with helicopters) and return to mainland NZ once operation completed.

2018/2019 – Crucial Post-Eradication Monitoring to determine the success of the project

At least two mouse breeding seasons after the eradication attempt, a team of two rodent detection dogs and their handlers  will work with a small team of monitoring staff to search the island for sign of mice. Monitoring tools may also include ink tracking cards, wax tags and chew cards designed to show the presence of mice. It would not be possible to efficiently detect the presence of mice prior to this as the island is difficult to get around and the likelihood of detecting one or two individuals is too low. The eradication is a one off attempt. The result monitoring will show whether it was successful or not and at this stage the result can be declared.

Updates and Media releases