The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the United Kingdom Partner of BirdLife International, has recently made available a review* of the impacts of rodents on islands in the Tristan da Cunha group, in the South Atlantic. This island group includes Gough Island, where the endemic Tristan Albatross Diomedea dabbenena is threatened by the introduced House Mice Mus musculus that literally eat the chicks alive, causing breeding success to shrink to unsustainably low levels.
The illustrated 58-page report has been written as part of a project funded by the UK’s Overseas Territories Environment Programme. The project, a collaborative effort between the RSPB and the University of Cape Town, is also undertaking feasibility studies for the eradication of rodents on the Tristan islands, including of the mice on Gough. Research is also being conducted on the Gough mice’s susceptibility to poison bait, on their avian prey, and on non-target species at risk from a poisoning campaign.
*Angel, A. & Cooper, J. 2006. A Review of the Impacts of Introduced Rodents on the Islands of Tristan da Cunha and Gough. RSPB Research Report No. 17. Sandy: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.News from John Cooper, ACAP Honorary Information Officer