Program sees Macquarie Island declared pest free

MACQUARIE Island was yesterday declared pest free by Environment Minister Matthew Groom.

Mr Groom said a rigorous monitoring program had not detected a rabbit, rat or mouse in more than two years.

The project was jointly funded by the Australian and Tasmanian governments in 2007.

``The program is the world's largest island eradication for these three pest species and it has been an unqualified success,'' Mr Groom said.

``The project's success has been an incredible feat of persistence and dedication by the hunters and dog handlers from the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service.''

Mr Groom said hunters and dog handlers had walked more than two times the earth's circumference looking for traces of pests.

He said it was expected that up to 24 bird species would benefit from the program's success.

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