I agree with Jeff Davies on this. Yes, the bird deaths are sad but we I
believe we should be looking at the longer term results.
Another thing that is not mentioned in this article is the number of chicks
and birds eggs that the rats would have eaten each breeding season. I
imagine that could easily have been 2000 bird deaths per year for the last
hundred years or so.
As for the rabbits they have been destroying the habitat and thereby
limiting breeding habitat for prions etc as well as making the burrows more
vulnerable to attack from Skuas. For example an item on the Macquarie Island
website recently mentioned that Grey Petrel breeding numbers have increased
recently, possibly due to less predation from rats.
Let's wait and see what the island looks like once the mega herbs regrow and
breeding is allowed to occur without predation by rats land clearing by
rabbits. Maybe right now our support needs to go to the people doing the
eradication, rather than jumping in league with the politicians and
newspapers, both of whom love an apparent bad news story.
The ducks in question are Pacific Black and, again, it is sad to see them
die, but they are not an endangered species as many of the seabirds that
breed on the island are.
On Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 4:57 PM, Jeff Davies <> wrote:
> G'day Dave,
> I think you need to put all this into perspective, is a one off hit like
> this worse than doing nothing? Let's revisit this in ten years time or
> earlier and see what the improved situation is going to look like without
> the ferals eating and digging the place into oblivion.
> Since when has Eric Abetz ever been a voice worth listening to on the
> conservation front.
> Cheers Jeff.
> -----Original Message-----
> On Behalf Of Dave Torr
> Sent: Tuesday, 18 October 2011 4:35 PM
> To: Peter Shute
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Bad news from Macquarie
> Indeed - you can't expect 100% accuracy from a newspaper! But it is
> disturbing that something that was supposed to be protecting the birds
> to have the opposite effect - especially as the total kill seems likely to
> be somewhat higher.
> On 18 October 2011 16:31, Peter Shute <> wrote:
> > What sort of ducks? And what percentage of the total is 2000.
> > There seems to be some confusion about how they were poisoned.
> > Peter Shute
> > --------------------------
> > Sent using BlackBerry