MACQUARIE CATS

March 2007

Macquarie is a tiny island in the Southern Ocean which has been plagued with feral cats, introduced in the 19th century, and which killed many nesting birds, including petrels and albatross. The Australian government was able to eradicate the cats, and in 2004 endangered grey petrels bred there for the first time in a century and there were hopes that the critically endangered blue petrel might return. A success story? Not quite. With no predators the rabbit population has exploded, and the voracious lagomorphs have eaten loads of grass on the petrel breeding sites, weakening the soil structure and leading to dramatic erosion, thereby threatening the bird population…

Independent article here.

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Filed under Conservation, Mammals

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