Advertisement

Polar Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 8, pp 1187–1195 | Cite as

Spatio-temporal patterns of introduced mice and invertebrates on Antipodes Island

  • James C. RussellEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

House mice (Mus musculus) are a widespread introduced species with major but often overlooked impacts on ecosystems, proportionally greater when they are the only introduced mammal present. Studies conducted on the ecology of mice on Antipodes Island, where they are the only introduced mammal, are presented and compared to previous work over the past four decades. Mice live-trapped on grids were more abundant in dense coastal tussock (147 mice/ha) compared to inland plateau grasslands (59 mice/ha), with a significant effect of age, but not sex, on both capture probability and range size. Body-size of mice has not changed over four decades, providing no evidence of gigantism, which on other Southern Ocean islands has been speculated to increase the predation risk to birds. Over 2,405 invertebrates from fourteen Orders were identified from pitfall traps and litter samples across five sites. Differences in invertebrate communities and taxonomic units attributable to habitat and altitude were detected among sites in both pitfall and litter samples on Antipodes Island. Differences in invertebrate communities were detected from litter samples on a neighbouring mouse-free island, with significantly greater abundance of large Amphipods and Collembola, but fewer Spiders. These data on introduced mouse ecology and invertebrate distribution on Antipodes Island contribute to the body of knowledge on Southern Ocean islands.

Keywords

Body-size Density House mouse Invertebrates Southern Ocean Spatially explicit capture–recapture 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author thanks Phil Moors and Rowley Taylor for providing unpublished data and discussion; Angus McIntosh and John Marris for discussion; Pete McClelland and Gilly Adam of DOC for logistical support; Henk Haazen and the crew of Tiama for transport; and Paul Sagar and David Thompson of NIWA for support, and the seabird (Erica Sommer, Dave Boyle and Mark Fraser) and geology (James Scott, Ian Turnbull) teams on the island for their assistance. Many thanks to Stephen Thorpe for taxonomic identification, sorting and photography of invertebrate samples. This research was conducted under DOC entry (SO-29716-LND 1011/35) and research (SO-29140-FAU 1011/20) permits, and University of Auckland Animal Ethics Committee approval (R845), and thanks to Pete McClelland, Keith Broome and a number of anonymous reviewers for critical comments on earlier versions of the manuscript.

References

  1. Angel A, Wanless RM, Cooper J (2009) Review of impacts of the introduced house mouse on islands in the Southern Ocean: are mice equivalent to rats? Biol Inv 9:1743–1754CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Auffray J-C, Vanlerberghe F, Britton-Davidan J (1990) The house mouse progression in Eurasia: a palaeontological and archaeozoological approach. Biol J Linn Soc 41:13–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berry RJ (1968) The ecology of an island population of the house mouse. J Anim Ecol 37:445–470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Berry RJ, Peters J (1975) Macquarie Island house mice: a genetic isolate on a sub-antarctic island. J Zool 176:375–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berry RJ, Jakobson ME, Peters J (1978a) The house mice of the Faroe Islands: a study in microdifferentiation. J Zool 185:73–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berry RJ, Peters J, van Aarde RJ (1978b) Sub-antarctic house mice: colonization, survival and selection. J Zool 184:127–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Borchers DL, Efford MG (2008) Spatially explicit maximum likelihood methods for capture–recapture studies. Biometrics 64:377–385PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boursot P, Din W, Anand R, Darviche D, Dod B, Deimling FV, Talwar GP, Bonhomme F (1990) Origin and radiation of the house mouse: mitochondrial DNA phylogeny. J Evol Biol 9:391–415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chilton C (1909) The subantarctic islands of New Zealand. Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, WellingtonGoogle Scholar
  10. Courchamp F, Chapuis J-L, Pascal M (2003) Mammal invaders on islands: impact, control and control impact. Biol Rev 78:347–383PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cuthbert R, Hilton G (2004) Introduced house mice Mus musculus: a significant predator of threatened and endemic birds on Gough Island, South Atlantic Ocean? Biol Conserv 117:483–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cuthbert RJ, Visser P, Louw H, Rexer-Huber K, Parker G, Ryan PG (2011) Preparations for the eradication of mice from Gough Island: results of bait acceptance trials above ground and around cave systems. In: Veitch CR, Clout MN, Towns DR (eds) Island invasives: eradication and management. IUCN, Gland, pp 47–50Google Scholar
  13. Ferreira SM, van Aarde RJ, Wassenaar TD (2006) Demographic responses of house mice to density and temperature on sub-Antarctic Marion Island. Polar Biol 30:83–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Godley E (1989) The flora of Antipodes Island. NZ J Bot 27:531–563CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Harper GA (2010) Habitat use by mice during winter on subantarctic Auckland Island. NZ J Ecol 34:262–264Google Scholar
  16. Jones MGW, Ryan PG (2010) Evidence of mouse attacks on albatross chicks on sub-Antarctic Marion Island. Antart Sci 22:39–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lidicker WZ (1966) Ecological observations on a feral house mouse population declining to extinction. Ecol Mono 36:27–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. MacKay JWB, Russell JC, Murphy EC (2007) Eradicating house mice from islands: successes, failures and the way forward. In: Witmer GW, Pitt WC, Fagerstone KA (eds) Managing vertebrate invasive species: proceedings of an international symposium. USDA/APHIS/WS, National Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins, pp 294–304Google Scholar
  19. Marris JWM (2000) The beetle (Coleoptera) fauna of the Antipodes Islands, with comments on the impact of mice; and an annotated checklist of the insect and arachnid fauna. J Roy Soc NZ 30:169–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Matthewson DC, van Aarde RJ, Skinner JD (1994) Population biology of house mice (Mus musculus L.) on sub-Antarctic Marion Island. S Afr J Zool 29:99–106Google Scholar
  21. McIntosh AR (2001) The impact of mice on the Antipodes Islands. In: McClelland P (ed) Antipodes Island expedition, October–November 1995. Department of Conservation, Invercargill, pp 52–57Google Scholar
  22. Murphy EC, Pickard CR (1990) House mouse. In: King CM (ed) The handbook of New Zealand mammals. Oxford University Press, Auckland, pp 225–245Google Scholar
  23. Pergams ORW, Ashley MV (2001) Microevolution in island rodents. Genetica 112–113:245–256PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Russell JC, Ringler D, Trombini A, Le Corre M (2011) The island syndrome and population dynamics of introduced rats. Oecol 167:667–676CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Searle JB, Jamieson PM, Gündüz Í, Stevens MI, Jones EP, Gemmill CEC, King CM (2009) The diverse origins of New Zealand house mice. Proc Roy Soc B 276:209–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. St Clair JJH (2011) The impacts of invasive rodents on island invertebrates. Biol Conserv 144:68–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Taylor R (1969) Summary of studies carried out on Campbell and Antipodes Islands while with the University of Canterbury Antipodes Island expedition 1969. Animal ecology division. D.S.I.R, Lower Hutt, p 7Google Scholar
  28. Taylor R (2006) Straight through from London. Heritage Expeditions, ChristchurchGoogle Scholar
  29. Towns DR, Wardle DA, Mulder CPH, Yeates GW, Fitzgerald BM, Parrish GR, Bellingham PJ, Bonner KI (2009) Predation of seabirds by invasive rats: multiple indirect consequences for invertebrate communities. Oikos 118:420–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wanless RM, Angel A, Cuthbert RJ, Hilton GM, Ryan PG (2007) Can predation by invasive mice drive seabird extinctions? Biol Lett 3:241–244PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wanless RM, Fisher P, Cooper J, Parkes J, Ryan PG, Slabber M (2008) Bait acceptance by house mice: an island field trial. Wildl Res 35:806–811CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wanless RM, Cooper J, Slabber MJ, Ryan PG (2009) Risk assessment of birds foraging terrestrially at Marion and Gough Islands to primary and secondary poisoning by rodenticides. Wildl Res 37:524–530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Warham J, Bell BD (1979) The birds of Antipodes Island, New Zealand. Notornis 26:121–169Google Scholar
  34. Warham J, Jones PM (1975) The University of Canterbury Antipodes Island expedition 1969. J Roy Soc NZ 5:103–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations