Macquarie Island, or “Macca” as it is often called, is a Nature Reserve managed by the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service. Long celebrated as one of the wonder spots of the world, the Macquarie Island Nature Reserve lies 1500 kilometres south-southeast of Tasmania, halfway between Tasmania and Antarctica.
Native Animals to Macquarie Island
The Native animals to Macquarie Island are: Elephant seals, Hooker’s sea lion, Fur seals, King penguins, Royal penguins, Gentoo penguins, Rockhopper penguins and Albatrosses.
Problems on Macquarie Island
It all started when the seal hunters came to the island in the early 1800’s they brought rabbits with them as a source of food for the journey and also on the ships were rabbits and mice which made their way onto the island to. They are being blamed for destroying the homes of Marine birds, causing soil erosion and ripping up vegetation.
What’s being done about the problems?
A team of helicopters are flying across the island carrying big containers full of poisoned pellets which are dropped and scattered across the island but for rabbits that survive the poison, there’s a plan B. A special team of dogs are being tested to sniff out the final rabbits. They also have to learn to behave around the islands natural animals. The dogs could be on the island for years, or until their mission is complete. The dogs don’t actually kill the rabbits, the dogs just find the rabbits and then the hunters decide to shoot the rabbits from in their holes or wait till they come out. The down side of the process is that some native birds will be killed in the process of the baiting.
In conclusion the island is getting better, but the experts say that if even just one pair of rabbits is left on the island, the whole plan will be a failure.
- Kilometres: a form of measurement, equal to 1,000 meters.
- Soil Erosion: Removal of the surface layer of soil faster than the soil forming processes can replace it, due to natural, animal, and human activity.
- Vegetation: plants that cover a particular area.
- Pellets: a form of food for animals.
- Baiting: food or a substance used to lure out a animal or human.