Six years after introduced pests were eradicated on Macquarie Island, its station leader continues to be in awe of the natural rejuvenation that's occurred there.
Ivor Harris, who has shared stunning photos of the island as it appeared before and after the pests were destroyed, said the recovery of vegetation and other parts of the natural environment had been "fantastic to see".
"Expeditioners continue to be delighted and amazed by the extent of the vegetation recovery," he said.
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"Let me once again pay credit to the dog handlers, rabbit hunters, and the wonderful dogs who really did the 'hard yards'."
Gazetted as a Tasmanian nature reserve, Macquarie Island - or, 'Macca', as some affectionately call it - is located about halfway between Tasmania and Antarctica.
In 2007, threats to the island's natural values prompted the state and federal governments to jointly throw $25 million at the fight to rid Macca of the rabbits and rodents feasting on its grasses, plants, bird eggs and invertebrates.
The Macquarie Island Pest Eradication Project (MIPEP) was the largest eradication program ever undertaken for rabbits, ship mice or rats, as well as one of the state's largest ever conservation management projects.
The destruction wrought by rabbits was of chief concern to the island's custodians. Their grazing on tussock grasslands made parts of the island vulnerable to erosion and was said to have increased the frequency of major landslip events.
Rabbits were eradicated through the use of rabbit calicivirus as a biocontrol agent in 2010, before aerial baiting was utilised. Specially trained dogs, handlers and rabbit hunters were then deployed.
The project was completed in 2014.
Noel Carmichael, the Parks and Wildlife Service's executive officer of Macquarie Island, said researchers had documented an "amazingly rapid" recovery in some of the island's more notable plant and animal species.
"Many bird species previously only found breeding on offshore rock stacks, such as blue petrels, have already begun to recolonise the main island," he said.
"The control or eradication of introduced species in remote sub-Antarctic environments is extremely difficult and expensive so stringent biosecurity measures have been introduced to ensure that no new feral species establish on Macquarie."