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Macquarie Island

The rodent detection team spent 13 months on the Australian sub-Antarctic island, working for the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Services as part of the post eradication monitoring team. 


WPS dog handler Leona Plaisier with rat dogs Chase and Bail climbing up the escarpment of Hurd Point, Macquarie Island, with one of the largest known colonies of Royal penguins in the background. 

Two teams worked the land in GPS lines using standard tracking tunnels, chew sticks and wax tags. They were responsible for all post-poisoning monitoring and hunting and for the quarantine procedures (for rodents) during 2013 and early 2014 re-supplies. By the end of the year the teams had covered most of the 12,800 hectare island.

Working the dogs amongst abundant wildlife and in extreme weather and terrain presented many challenges. The handlers kept their dogs motivated with dead, frozen rats and mice. No live rodents were ever found.

The Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Services announced the successful eradication of Macquarie Island in April 2014.

after snow

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Macquarie Island - click on the photos to enlarge