We sailed to Great Mercury Island about five years ago and I thought it felt very dead and didn’t like it at all as there was very little bird life.
A story in New Zealand Geographic tells why: 700 years of rats, and in recent years they were in plague proportions. The birds didn’t stand a chance.
A public/private partnership between Sir Michael Fay, who owns the island, and the Department of Conservation cleared the island of pests over a two-year period and it is now pest-free and has been for a couple of years.
The birds and other creatures have returned: kaka, petrels, bumblebees and lizards are all back.
We are sailing there again in late January and I can’t wait to see it this time.