Why is Macquarie Island under threat?

Why is Macquarie Island under threat?

Macquarie Island under threat Feral cats (as well as other feral animals) contributed to the extinction of two native bird species – the Macquarie Island parakeet and the Macquarie Island rail – before cats were totally eradicated in 2000. Introduced rabbits, rats and mice are a growing threat on the island.

Why were rabbits a problem on Macquarie Island?

Rabbits consumed the large, leafy megaherbs and grasses, which lacked the ability to adapt to grazing. Extensive damage was occurring to the tall tussock grassland, resulting in a loss of breeding habitat for nesting seabirds and the destabilisation of slopes.

How did they eradicate animals from Macquarie Island?

In 2007, the Australian and Tasmanian governments jointly funded a $25 million project to eradicate pests from the 13,000-hectare island. A baiting program was undertaken, before hunters and their dogs were brought in to eradicate any surviving animals.

Why should we save Macquarie Island?

Covering more than 16 million hectares, it was declared to protect the habitat of threatened species such as the royal and southern rockhopper penguins, the subantarctic fur seal, southern elephant seal and five species of albatross.

What is the vegetation like in Macquarie Island?

All of the vegetation of Macquarie Island is herbaceous, with no woody species present. Megaherbs are a distinctive and unique feature of the sub-Antarctic, occurring nowhere else in Tasmania. There are two megaherbs on Macquarie Island – Stilbocarpa polaris (Macquarie Island cabbage) and Pleurophyllum hookeri.

What are the plants on Macquarie Island?

There is not a tree or shrub, but long stretches of yellow tussock are varied with patches of the bright green Stilbocarpa polaris, the Macquarie Island cabbage, a plant resembling very fine rhubarb in growth, and of Pleurophyllum, a handsome Composite, with long, sage-green leaves and purple flowers.

What is the size of Macquarie Island?

49.42 mi²

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