Above picture:  From left, John Cooper (Mouse-Free Marion Project), Anche Louw (South African Polar Research Infrastructure) and Ria Olivier (Antarctic Legacy of South Africa) with the four donated books on Marion Island

The Antarctic Legacy of South Africa (ALSA) is an understated, but highly valued, supporter of the Mouse-Free Marion (MFM) Project.  Support from ALSA in the past has included provision of historical photographs from its comprehensive archive and contacting Marion Island’s past team members to encourage sponsorships of hectares – with around R50 000 raised to date.  ALSA has now continued its support with the donation this month of four scholarly books on Marion and Prince Edward Islands.

John Cooper, MFM Project’s News Correspondent met earlier this month with Ria Olivier, ALSA Principal Investigator and Digital Archivist, and Anche Louw, Digital Marketing and Communications Manager, South African Polar Research Infrastructure, in the Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden to receive the books over lunch – both Ria and Anche are based in the university’s Department of Botany and Zoology.  Unusually, one of the books has been published under ALSA’s own imprimatur, allowing it to make the donation; the rest being published by the Stellenbosch University’s publishing house.

From John Cooper to Robyn Adams: the books are handed over in BirdLife South Africa’s Cape Sugarbird Library in Cape Town where they will be housed

The donated books were then passed to Robyn Adams, MFM Communications Officer and Project Assistant, in BirdLife South Africa’s new Cape Town headquarters in Claremont.  The project for the first time has an office (primarily used by Robyn) in the renovated Victorian-era building, once a residential dwelling but more recently medical doctors’ rooms.  The books will be housed in a small library room, named after the Cape Sugarbird, endemic to the Fynbos Biome of South Africa’s Western Cape Province, where they will be available for consultation by the office staff.

The MFM Project is most grateful for the support it continues to receive from the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa and looks forward to further collaborations as it moves towards its goal of eradicating Marion Island’s House Mice.


Donated Titles:

De Villiers, M.S., Chown, S.L. & Cooper, J. 2011.  Prince Edward Islands Conservation Handbook.  Stellenbosch: SUN PRESS.  80 pp.

Chown, S.L. & Froneman, P.W. (Eds).  The Prince Edward Islands: Land-Sea Interactions in a Changing Ecosystem.  Stellenbosch: Sun PReSS.  450 pp.

Huntley, B.J. 2016.  Exploring a Sub-Antarctic Wilderness.  A Personal Narrative of the First Biological & Geological Expedition to Marion and Prince Edward Islands 1965/66.  Stellenbosch: Antarctic Legacy of South Africa.  208 pp.

Terauds, A., Cooper, J., Chown, S.L. & Ryan, P. 2010.  Marion & Prince Edward. Africa’s Southern Islands.  Stellenbosch: SUN PReSS.  176 pp.


John Cooper, News Correspondent, Mouse-Free Marion Project, 29 August 2023


Portrait of a Grey-headed Albatross on Marion Island; photograph and poster design by Michelle Risi

The Mouse-Free Marion Project is a registered non-profit company (No. 2020/922433/08) in South Africa, established to eradicate the invasive albatross-killing mice on Marion Island in the Southern Ocean.  The project was initiated by BirdLife South Africa and the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment.  Upon successful completion, the project will restore the critical breeding habitat of over two million seabirds, many globally threatened, and improve the island’s resilience to a warming climate.  For more information or to support the project please visit mousefreemarion.org.