• Razorback, Macquarie Island 2020 (Photo: Ivor Harris)
    Razorback, Macquarie Island 2020 (Photo: Ivor Harris)

Expeditioners at Macquarie Island are delighted with how the natural environment is bouncing back since the eradication of introduced pests nearly ten years ago.

The Macquarie Island Pest Eradication Program is an amazing success story: the first time in the world that rabbits, rats, mice (and in a previous program, cats) have all been removed from an island of this size.

Before-and-after photos show the transformation now that rabbits no longer strip the sub-Antarctic vegetation and erode the hillsides.

“Since the remarkably successful eradication of introduced pest rabbits and rodents from Macquarie Island, carried out as the Macquarie Island Pest Eradication Program (MIPEP) from 2010 to its conclusion with a confirmed free status in 2014, the recovery of the vegetation and other aspects of the natural environment on Macca has been fantastic,” wrote one local expert.

“I was lucky to see the island in 2010 immediately prior to the commencement of MIPEP when the rabbit damage was at its worst, again in 2014-15 a few years after the large majority of the rabbits had been eradicated, and now again this year.”

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