This week at the station
This week at Macquarie Island: 1 April 2011
Happenings on station
On Saturday night, along with the other stations, we participated in Earth Hour by switching off the lights for our 'formal' Saturday night dinner, enjoying a candlelit table setting while toasting the health of planet Earth. We also marked World Meteorological Day last week by enjoying Friday afternoon drinks in the Bureau of Meteorology office.
Fur seal fieldwork finishing up
As the close of our summer season on Macca rapidly approaches, fur seal researchers Dean and Rob have successfully completed their fieldwork on North Head this week. Several other expeditioners assisted in helping them catch and tag the last remaining untagged animals, in order to complete the allowable number of animals to be tagged on their wildlife research permit.
Successful rabbit eradication
We are continuing to see further excellent results from the distribution of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus last month, as an initial step in the Macquarie Island Pest Eradication Program (MIPEP). Following from the initial release of the virus at 15 mostly-coastal sites of higher rabbit density, the virus spread rapidly killing many rabbits around the coast. We are now also seeing many more dead rabbits in the rabbit-dense inland grassy areas on the lower plateau. The skuas and giant petrels are having a field day. The Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease or RHD-killed rabbit carcasses are harmless to other wildlife. MIPEP is planned to recommence this coming winter with aerial baiting for rabbits, rats and mice over the whole island.
TASPARKS wildlife ranger Drew was in the field during our heavy snowfall last week, and got some nice pictures of the snowy landscape off-station.
Ready for resupply
Our resupply voyages V6 (L’Astrolabe) and V5 (Aurora Australis) are getting very close now, with V6 planned to be here for 8-17 April and V5 for 20-28 April. V6 will be the main station resupply, while V5 will be the station refuelling, MIPEP resupply and bring the incoming MIPEP personnel and station crew for changeover. Expeditioners are getting very busy now with resupply preparations.
Wildlife photo gallery
Our selection of wildlife photos this week are courtesy of Drew, Chris and Greg.