VIDEO: “Million Dollar Mouse” documents restoration of remote New Zealand island

On the Sub-antarctic Island of Antipodes, invasive mice were the only human-introduced predators, and their presence was considered by conservationists and researchers to be a threat to native and endemic species.

In order to remove the invasive mice and thus restore the local ecosystem, partners from all around the world came together in order to plan, implement, and monitor the complex project.

Together the New Zealand Department of Conservation, the Morgan Foundation, WWF-New Zealand, Island Conservation and the New Zealand public formed the Million Dollar Mouse project in order to restore a jewel of the Sub-antarctic and its native wildlife. In the winter of 2016, the partners came together to implement the logistically complex project.

Two years and two breeding seasons later, the monitoring team returned to see if the campaign was successful. Using 200 inked tracking tunnels and two conservation detection dogs which scoured the island for three weeks they officially confirmed success.

Richard Griffiths, Project Director at Island Conservation said this about the success of the project, “The removal of invasive species from island ecosystems is a proven way to protect biodiversity and prevent extinctions. We are thrilled at having being able to collaborate on this monumental achievement to protect Antipode’s threatened species and look forward to partnering with the Department of Conservation on its next steps toward Predator-Free New Zealand.

Watch 20-minute “million Dollar Mouse” film.

See Island Conservation website.

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