The next frontier: assessing the feasibility of eradicating mammalian pests from Auckland Island

Auckland Island, the fifth largest island in New Zealand, is the only island in New Zealand’s subantarctic region where introduced mammalian pests remain (pigs, Sus scrofa; mice, Mus musculus; cats, Felis catus). The island has unique biodiversity and is a key site for progressing New Zealand’s goal to be free of several introduced predators by 2050. Recent island eradication successes have rekindled interest in eradicating pests from Auckland Island, and for the first time considering all three pests in one project.

Restoration of New Zealand subantarctic islands

New Zealand manages five island groups in the Southern Ocean New Zealand subantarctic region: The Snares (Tini Heke), Bounty Islands, Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands (Motu Maha or Maungahuka) and Campbell Island / Motu Ihupuku. Charted by Europeans in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, their preservation commenced in the early 20th century and restoration in the late 20th century.

Fifty years of rodent eradications in New Zealand: another decade of advances

New Zealand has just passed half a century of rodent eradications on islands. Confirmation of the first rat eradication in New Zealand on Maria Island/Ruapuke coincided with the devastating rat invasion on Big South Cape Island/Taukihepa. We review the early history of rodent management in New Zealand leading up to and including the Big South Cape Island/Taukihepa ship rat invasion, and document the development and implementation of rodent eradication technologies on New Zealand islands up to the present day.

A review of recent regulatory and environmental toxicology studies on 1080: Results and implications

Sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) is a highly toxic vertebrate pesticide that has been widely used for possum and rabbit control in New Zealand since the 1950s. Because of its importance in pest control and the highly toxic nature of this compound, its environmental fate, persistence, non-target impacts and general toxicology have been and continue to be extensively studied. A series of in vitro (cell culture) and laboratory animal studies (in rats and mice) have recently been undertaken to update the regulatory toxicology database for 1080.

An evaluation of the efficiency of rodent trapping methods: The effect of trap arrangement, cover type, and bait

Eradication of rodent species from some offshore islands has proved to be an effective means of conserving native animal communities and restoring natural ecological processes on the islands. As methods of eradication differ fur different rodent species, a truthful monitoring method to detect species presence and relative density is essential for a successful eradication programme.

Calibration of tunnel tracking rates to estimate relative abundance of ship rats (Rattus rattus) and mice (Mus musculus) in a New Zealand forest

Ship rat (Rattus rattus) and mouse (Mus musculus) density and habitat use were estimated by snap trapping and tracking tunnels at Kaharoa in central North Island, New Zealand. Eighty-one ship rats were caught in an effective trapping area of 12.4 ha. Extinction trapping gave an estimated density of 6.7 rats ha(-1) (6.5-7.8 rats ha(-1), 95% confidence intervals). A linear relationship existed between ship rat trapping and tracking rates. Estimating the density of mice was impossible because trapping rates increased rather than decreased during the experiment.

Population biology of small mammals in Pureora Forest Park .2. The feral house mouse (Mus musculus)

Over five years from November 1982 to November 1987, we examined 395 mice collected from unlogged and logged native forest and from exotic forest at Pureora Forest Park, in the central North Island of New Zealand. Sex ratio, litter size, and breeding effort (pregnancy rate in females, proportion of males with visible tubules) were similar in all samples.

Population-Dynamics and Diet of Rodents on Rangitoto Island, New Zealand, Including the Effect of a 1080 Poison Operation

The objective of this study was to quantify the population dynamics, morphological characteristics, and diet of rodents on Rangitoto Island (Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand) to provide information for the future development of an eradication strategy. An aerial 1080 operation to eradicate possums and wallabies was carried out two months after the study began. The effects of this operation on rodent population dynamics are discussed. Both ship rats (Rattus rattus) and mice (Mus musculus) were trapped on Rangitoto Island over a 15 month period.

Large-Scale Poisoning of Ship Rats (Rattus rattus) in Indigenous Forests of the North-Island, New Zealand

This paper describes the impact of nine poison operations on ship rats in four areas (35 ha to 3200 ha) of North Island forest. Poisoning with 1080, brodifacoum, or pindone killed 87- 100% of rats, based on trapping and tracking-tunnel indices. Rat populations took 4-5 months to recover. Operations to protect nesting birds should therefore coincide with the onset of nesting and be rePeated each year, although not necessarily with the same methods.