Ridding Macquarie Island of pests pays off as seabirds come back from the brink – but recovery has just begun

Thu, 21 Mar 2024 19:19:26 +1100

Andrew Pam <xanni [at] glasswings.com.au>

Andrew Pam

"One of the largest publicly funded conservation investments in history is
starting to pay off on Macquarie Island, our newly published study shows.

Sealers and whalers introduced cats, rats, rabbits and other animals to the
island in the 19th century. Their impacts devastated the millions of seabirds
breeding on the island. Numbers fell to a fraction of their former populations.

From 2011-14, the last non-native pests were cleared from the island. It was
the end of a deadly chapter in the island’s history during which two bird
species, a rail and a parakeet, were lost from the planet forever.

We looked for signs of recovery in populations of petrels, a group of highly
specialised seabirds. We found that species listed as threatened have recovered
to the point where they can be delisted. There’s still a long way to go,
though, before their populations return to historical levels."

       *** Xanni ***
mailto:xanni@xanadu.net               Andrew Pam
http://xanadu.com.au/                 Chief Scientist, Xanadu
https://glasswings.com.au/            Partner, Glass Wings
https://sericyb.com.au/               Manager, Serious Cybernetics

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