The house mouse (Mus musculus) is considered the most difficult rodent species to eradicate from islands. Eradication projects require careful planning and execution of an ‘over-engineering’ approach to ensure every individual of the targeted population is encountered and removed. Aerial broadcasting of rodenticides has been the method of choice for island rodent eradications since the 1990s and the methods and parameters continue to be refined.
House mice (Mus musculus) are highly invasive mammals and can cause extensive ecosystem damage on islands where they are the sole mammalian pest species. Capability to eradicate mice has improved in recent years. Mouse eradication has been achieved on large islands where mice cohabit with other rodents and islands where mice are the sole mammalian pest. As the islands targeted for eradication become larger and more challenging, reduced toxic cereal bait application rates can reduce both complexity and cost, and ultimately make currently unachievable operations feasible.
House mice (Mus musculus) are an invasive species on Auckland Island in the New Zealand subantarctic and planning for their eradication is underway. Mast seeding events cause rodent populations to irrupt, though little is known about this phenomenon in snow tussock grass (Chionochloa spp.) systems on Southern Ocean islands. The aim of this study was to understand population fluctuations of mouse abundance on Auckland Island for the 2 years following a mast event, and with which tools to monitor abundance, to inform planning of bait application for eradication.
We used a long-term replicated before-after control-impact (BACI) sampling design to monitor the effect of aerial 1080 possum-control operations on common forest bird populations. Paired treatment and non- treatment sites in the Rolleston Range (East Coast, South Island) and Alexander Range (West Coast, South Island) were monitored once before 1080 treatment during winter 2012 and for three successive summers afterwards. Mammals (possums Trichosurus vulpecula, rats Rattus spp.
Introduced mammalian herbivores are changing the structure and composition of New Zealand’s forest ecosystems and may modify forest succession after natural disturbances. We studied how introduced ungulates (red deer and feral pigs) and rodents (rats and house mice) affected the rate of recovery (i.e. the engineering resilience) of the forest understorey following artificial disturbance.
Invasive rodents pose a grave and persistent threat to New Zealand’s native biodiversity. Rodent eradication is a successful conservation tool on islands. However, eradications may fail, and there is always potential for reinvasion. It is therefore essential that effective systems are in place for the early detection of rodents in the case of eradication failure or reincursion.