Macquarie Island

Subject: Macquarie Island
From: "R Clarke" <>
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 09:00:52 +1000
Hi Peter,
Yes I imagine rabbits will be more difficult to eradicate on Macquarie Is.
than cats.  I understand the cat population was in the hundreds when the
eradication program commenced.

I?m not sure what the current estimate for rabbit numbers is on Macquarie
Island but I have heard of estimates in past years of around 150,000. Given
they are now in plague numbers this may underestimate the current situation.
Taking what I assume to be a conservative number, if the eradication team
achieve 95% mortality through bait uptake, there would be in the order of
7500 rabbits that would still need to be removed manually. Given this is a
large island that provides almost endless sheltering opportunities for the
smaller pest mammals, removing 7500 rabbits at a rate faster than they can
breed and maintaining this through to the last rabbit is a mammoth task.
Mind you, the likely environmental benefits easily justify the investment
being made.

As for the removal of cats leading to the current rabbit problem, well
that's another topic, but I suspect it over-simplifies the situation.

Rohan Clarke

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