Great Mercury Island, New Zealand is recovering following removal of invasive predators.
In 2014, a population of invasive predators was completely removed from Ahuahu (Great Mercury Island) by the Department of Conservation. Following this intervention, the island’s original predators and keystone species have begun to return. The Pycroft’s Petrel was recorded on the island after a long absence.
The island restoration will not only be beneficial for native animals:
Ahuahu is also a site of great historical importance for the indigenous Māori people of New Zealand/Aotearoa, and archaeology researchers from the University of Auckland have been undertaking digs on the foreshore to understand the history of the first inhabitants of the island – one of the first locations of New Zealand colonisation. Alongside amazing cultural discoveries, their work also enables us to understand the original ecosystem functioning of the island, by documenting the bird species found in fossil and midden deposits, and using pollen cores to describe the original forest cover of the island. These discoveries will all contribute to the re-wilding of the island in to the future.
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