Sunday, 19 August 2012

Another New Zealand island cleared of introduced pests

4th island in Dusky Sound given the all clear
August 2012. The Fiordland Conservation Trust and former Fiordland business owners Ruth Dalley and Lance Shaw, with help from a range of supporting funders, have successfully eradicated rats and mice, the last remaining pests on Indian Island in Dusky Sound.

The 170 ha Island near the outer edge of Dusky Sound is the fourth of six main islands in Dusky Sound to have a predator control programme to remove introduced mammals.
Pest control on Indian Island first began in 2000 when the Department of Conservation established a successful stoat and deer eradication programme. Resident mice and rats however remained on the Island until Fiordland Ecology Holidays and their extensive network came to the rescue in 2010. The group included one major off shore benefactor, along with generous contributions from Lucy Bellerby, Ian and Jenny Willans and Ultimate Hikes. This team of people have continued to be involved in the project assisting with establishing and checking traps and tracking tunnels over the two year period.
Rat, mice and stoat free
Since the eradication, not a single mouse, rat or stoat has been captured in the traps, which means that the island is now considered to be predator free. Ms Dalley and Mr Shaw said they were delighted to hear this news and will remain involved as surveillance continues.
Ms Dalley said that prior to selling their business 'Fiordland Ecology Holidays' they wanted to 'thank' Fiordland for 16 years of running tourism, media and scientific research trips. Through their business they set up a fund to support research. This was financed through donations from passengers and from a percentage of their annual income. This is the fourth island in Fiordland that they have been financially and logistically involved in with the eradication of pests.
Fiordland Conservation Trust Chairman Murray Willans said it is a real privilege to be involved in this project in a very special part of New Zealand. He acknowledges that like any island pest eradication, this project will require ongoing pest surveillance.

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