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Celebrating the achievements of landcarers

04/12/2017

The Tamar Island Wetland Cares Volunteer Group has been recognised in the 2017 Landcare Tasmania Awards.More

Horsetail Falls walk now open

15/11/2017

Visitors to the West Coast are in for some spectacular views on the new Horsetail Falls walk near Queenstown.More

Bruny Island Neck lookout re-opens

10/11/2017

The walkways and lookout at the Bruny Island Neck will re-open to the public today, following the completion of a new, larger car park that will provide improved access to the popular lookout.More

Macquarie Island Eradication Plan

04/06/2007

The Minister for Tourism, Arts and the Environment, Paula Wriedt, today said the eradication of rabbits and rats on Macquarie Island will ensure the World Heritage Area maintains its outstanding global conservation, geological, ecological and scientific values.

"The eradication plan is an extension of a long-term feral animal control program that commenced on Macquarie Island in the 1960s and resulted in the eradication of the weka, a predatory bird, by 1989 and cats by 2000.

"The impacts caused by increasing rabbit and rat populations on Macquarie Island are very serious including devastating effects upon native fauna, flora, geomorphology, natural landscape values and nutrient recycling systems."

Ms Wriedt said up to 24 bird species, including 12 listed as threatened, are expected to benefit from the pest eradication operation on Macquarie Island.

"It can be expected that many seabird species will rapidly re-colonise the island once the rats are removed."Ms Wriedt said the eradication plan will use a combination of techniques, to target the pest species in a single eradication operation.

"During the voyage to Macquarie Island in April, officers from my Department laid the ground work for the Eradication Plan to begin. Helicopter over-flights of king penguin colonies were done to further assess the impact of the low flying that will be required in order to lay the baits.

"A large number of interim measures are being progressed, including fencing a number of areas around the island that are relatively intact, installing weather monitoring equipment, as well as deploying shooters.

"We can now make the necessary arrangements to have dogs trained to distinguish between the feral animals and the natural wildlife.

"Now that funding has been secured my Department will work in partnership with the Australian Government to get a definite timeline, based on the information and data they obtained during the last voyage.

"Obviously there will be many considerations to take into account, particularly the weather conditions, which were unfavourable during the last voyage. We also need to minimise or avoid any negative effects on the island's indigenous species.

The Plan recommends the following methodology for eradicating rabbits and rats on Macquarie Island:
1. Aerially broadcast pellet baits containing brodifacoum - a second-generation anticoagulant - by helicopter. Use of differential global positioning system computers in helicopters will ensure accurate coverage. This operation is designed to eradicate rats and to remove in excess of 95 per cent of rabbits.
2. Field teams will follow up on the ground to eliminate individual rabbits surviving the bait drops. These teams will use a range of techniques including daylight and spotlight shooting, fumigating burrows, trained dogs and trapping over a four-year time frame to ensure that rabbits are removed faster than they can breed.