New Zealand Journal of Ecology (2022) 46(3): 3488

Eradication confirmation of mice from Antipodes Island and subsequent terrestrial bird recovery

Research Article
Stephen R. Horn 1*
Finlay S. Cox 1
Graeme P. Elliott 2
Kath J. Walker 2
James C. Russell 3
Rachael L. Sagar 1
Terry C. Greene 4
  1. Department of Conservation, PO Box 743, Invercargill 9840, New Zealand
  2. Department of Conservation, Private Bag 5, Nelson 7042, New Zealand
  3. University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
  4. Department of Conservation, Private Bag 4715, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
*  Corresponding author

Antipodes Island is part of New Zealand’s World Heritage subantarctic region and hosts special biodiversity values and significant species endemism. Invasive house mice were the only introduced mammal and detrimentally impacted invertebrate and native bird communities. Eradication of mice from Antipodes Island was undertaken in 2016 and confirmed in 2018. We present the monitoring used to confirm eradication of mice and the ecological outcomes measured over the 6 years since the eradication. Result monitoring for confirmation applied a simple regime to search for mice following a delay of two mouse breeding seasons since baiting was completed. Outcome monitoring targeted endemic land bird taxa for possible changes due to operational impacts and ecological recovery following eradication of mice. The operation had no longterm negative impacts and endemic land bird taxa have recovered quickly from variable levels of non-target mortality. Estimates of abundance of Antipodes Island snipe, Antipodes Island pipit and Reischek’s parakeet showed strong long-term positive response to mouse eradication.