Monitoring results from Antipodes Island, New Zealand indicate recovery of native insects and birds after the successful removal of invasive mice.
More than a year and a half after the removal of invasive mice from the subantarctic Island of Antipodes, native wildlife appear to be thriving! Native birds such as the Antipodean Wandering Albatross, the Reischek’s Parakeet, and the Antipodes Island Pipit appear to be recovering well, but field data suggest they are not the only species that are benefiting from the restoration project. Monitoring has shown that native insects such as the endemic (found nowhere else in the world) fly (Xenocalliphora antipodea) have also been prosperous since the removal of invasive rats.
Although flies might not be everyone’s favorite animals, they are important for ecosystem health and are considered important indicator species. Their thriving populations suggests the island is recovering. The Antipodes field team spent time monitoring the different invertebrate species on the island, and in addition to anecdotal evidence of increased abundance, they used pitfall traps to find species and will continue to collect data from the samples.
The island monitoring team has also shown a population rebound for native and endemic birds including Snipes, Pipits, and Parakeets. The population growth suggests that this is only the beginning and that continued growth is expected.
This is not the end for Antipodes Island but rather a new beginning for the island and its native species. Conservationists will continue to monitor the island, and more restoration activities are in the works. Next stop for Million Dollar Mouse: Auckland Islands.
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