Introduction

Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson today warmly welcomed the announcement of the ‘Million Dollar Mouse campaign’ to rid New Zealand’s subantarctic Antipodes Islands of the pests.

Date:  28 March 2012 Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation

Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson today warmly welcomed the announcement of the ‘Million dollar mouse campaign’ to rid New Zealand’s subantarctic Antipodes Islands of the pests.

The brainchild of economist and ‘Our Far South’ organiser Dr Gareth Morgan, the campaign aims to raise more than a million dollars towards the major mouse eradication project.

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Reef Point. Antipodes Islands.
Reef Point, Antipodes Islands

“Clearing mice from the Antipodes is a challenging and ambitious project that offers big conservation gains. It is terrific to see an environmental and business leader stepping up to the plate to support conservation,” Ms Wilkinson says.

“Conservation is everyone’s responsibility. Not only is Dr Morgan offering to match public donations dollar for dollar, he is showing how partnerships between Government, community groups, businesses and private supporters gets more conservation work done.

The Antipodes are home to a wide range of rare wildlife, birds and plants. They are the breeding home of the Antipodean wandering albatross, and a variety of petrel along with the Antipodes Island snipe and Pipit, two parakeet and at least 9 endemic insect species.

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Close up of an erect crested penguin.
The Antipodes Islands are home to a wide variety of bird species including the erect-crested penguin

Mice – thought to be introduced early last century – threaten insects and plants along with bird eggs and young chicks.

“DOC has a hard earned reputation as world leaders in clearing pests from offshore islands. Ridding the Antipodes Islands of mice is one of DOCs long term goals but the support Dr Morgan and his group are offering will help make it a reality much sooner.

Funds will be raised by a partnership that includes the Morgan Foundation, DOC, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Fiordland Conservation Trust, Heritage Expeditions, and Kiwibank.

DOC will run and contribute funds to the pest control programme.

“There’s a lot of detail and planning to work through but I’m asking my department to throw their effort behind Dr Morgan’s generous offer and do what we can to make this project happen. It is exciting to see DOC and New Zealanders working together to make a real difference in securing the unique wildlife in these special islands.”

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Contact

Britton Broun  +64 4 817 8266 or +64 21 244 9354

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