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Eviction for South Solitary Island house mouse

Media release: 28 July 2014

Introduced mice are set to be removed from South Solitary Island, off Coffs Harbour, as part of a rodent eradication program to help restore native species by ridding all offshore islands in New South Wales (NSW) of introduced pests, this week.

The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) which includes the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has, so far, removed rabbits, rats and mice from Montague and Brush islands (South Coast), and Cabbage Tree Island and the Broughton Group off Port Stephens.

NPWS Coffs Coast Area Manager Glenn Storrie said now it is South Solitary’s turn with baiting to eradicate mice that originally arrived in cargo shipped over for the lighthouse keepers.

“Mice would have arrived on the Island shortly after the lighthouse was constructed in the 1880s”, Mr Storrie said.

“No doubt they would have been a nuisance to successive families living on the Island until it was de-manned in the 1970s”, Glenn said.

“Now that people have gone it’s time to remove the mice and return the Island to its former inhabitants.”

OEH ecosystem project officer Roberts Wheeler said the baiting in winter is the ideal time as mice are more inclined to take baits if other food is scarce, and also because seabirds will not have arrived yet to start nesting.

“Exotic mammals, including mice, rats and rabbits also play havoc with native plant communities and wildlife, particularly seabirds, since their introduction to many of the islands of New South Wales”, Glenn said.

“Birdlife on those islands also suffers, not just from the loss of native-plant species, but also from the predation of their eggs and young by rodents”, he said.

For further information contact the NPWS Coffs Coast Area office on 02 6652 0900.

Contact: Lawrence Orel

Page last updated: 28 July 2014