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Pest eradication planners heading to Macquarie Island


Parks and Wildlife Service pest eradication project staff will leave Hobart at the weekend for three weeks on Macquarie Island.

The annual autumn re-supply trip to the Macquarie Island Nature Reserve and World Heritage Area will give the Macquarie Island team the opportunity to examine a range of factors relating to the project.

Planning is well advanced following the decision by the Federal and State governments last year to jointly fund the $24.6 million project to eradicate rabbits, rats and mice from the island.

The eradication program is on track for the major baiting component to occur in 2010.

The team members visiting Macquarie Island will undertake thorough and detailed preliminary planning for the implementation of the eradication plan.

The project's major components have been endorsed by pest eradication experts as offering the maximum opportunity for the successful eradication of rabbits and rodents from Macquarie Island.

Accompanying the PWS project managers will be the project's dog training coordinator, John Cheyne, who is visiting the island to assess conditions for dog training.

A crucial part of the eradication project involves obtaining trained hunting dogs, and it is expected that the outcome of the tender process will soon be announced.

Scientists accompanying the eradication team will assess king penguin colonies and undertake vegetation monitoring.