Above Picture:  A Grey-headed Albatross chick has been attacked by mice at Marion Island, photograph by Ben Dilley

This post continues an occasional series that features the several scientific papers and reports that give information on attacks by House Mice Mus musculus on the birds of Marion Island.  For the first post in the series click here.

In 2016 BirdLife South Africa published a study in its Occasional Report Series that considers the feasibility of eradicating introduced House Mice Mus musculus on South Africa’s sub-Antarctic Marion Island.  Marion’s mice are now well known to be attacking ACAP-listed albatrosses and petrels and are regarded as a serious threat requiring eradication. The publication follows a site visit in 2015 by New Zealand invasive species expert John Parkes of Kurahaupo Consulting, who wrote the report (click here).


Ready to board: John Parkes on his way to Marion Island on the S.A. Agulhas II


Spotted a mouse? John Parkes takes aim with his walking stick on Marion Island in 2015

The study concludes that “eradication of mice from Marion Island is definitely possible with a high chance of success.”  The study makes several operational and research & information recommendations that should be addressed prior to an eradication attempt by aerial baiting.


Parkes, J. 2016.  Eradication of House Mice Mus musculus from Marion Island: a review of feasibility, constraints and risks.  In: Wanless, R.M. (Ed.).  BirdLife South Africa Occasional Report Series No. 1.  Johannesburg: BirdLife South Africa.  27 pp.  Also available for downloading on this website from here.


John Cooper, Member, Scientific and Technical Advisory Group, Mouse-Free Marion Project, 05 October 2021