The Our Far South trip was amazing – and I feel bad that I have not written too much about it. Probably the most surprising aspect was the quality of the experience on the various sub Antarctic islands that we have.
Campbell Island was one of the last islands we visited, and it hosted sea lions, elephant seals, penguins and a host of strange mega herbs. It was simply stunning.
To get a good feel for it take a look at the back of a five dollar note.
Campbell Island was cleared of mammalian predators a few years back – in fact Kiwis are now seen as global experts in island pest clearing after a number of successes. Ridding islands of pests, and the worst are mice, rabbits, rats and cats, means the plants and trees can grow back, the baby birds are free from attack, insects can re-emerge and the megafauna (big mammals) come back. That’s happened and is still happening at Campbell.
Some kiwis recently helped the Australians successfully clear Macquarie Island, which was devastated by a scourge of rabbits. From now the plants are able to grow back, and in 5 to 10 years time it will be recognisable again as the haven that it is.
Yesterday a new campaign launched to clear another island. On the boat we learned that the biggest easiest area of opportunity in the Sub Antarctic’s was The Antipodes.
The Antipodes islands are home to important endemic and other species of birds, are a protected wildlife sanctuary but but are covered in mice. Removing the mice will have a profound impact on the life of critical species, and unleash their regrowth.
It will cost just $1 million to remove mice from the Antipodes.
We reckoned on the board that $1 million wasn’t that much, and credit Floyd Morgan for the idea to do something about it. He convinced Gareth and Jo Morgan to step forward and commit $500,000 in matching funds to remove the mice. They are calling it the Million Dollar Mouse campaign – as the last mouse will have cost $1 million to remove, and the rest of us in NZ need to kick in the other $500,000.
At Powerkiwi (That’s the Flowerpower logo up top) we believe in doing the right thing – and so we are contributing $1000 to the cause, thus triggering another $1000 from Gareth and Jo.
It’s the right thing to do on so many levels. Check out the campaign.