When the seal and penguin hunters held their big slaughters, they also left a few "souvenirs" behind.
Around 1870, they imported European rabbits on Macquarie Island, as a supplement for the menu. In 1978 there were already 150.000 animals
When in 1978 Macquarie was declared to nature reserve by Australia, they started a struggle against this plague, so now there are
"only" 20.000 anymore and the vegetation can regenerate. This also resulted in an decreasing population of skuas, cats and
quails, while they were fed on those rabbits.
Import of cats has a large impact too on the native birds, which are hunted and killed by them.
Blind passengers on a ship are mice and rats. These eat primarily plants, but a rat doesn't shrink away from an attack on a nest.
Quails are not able to fly and were imported for the same reason as rabbits in New-Zealand.
Because they eat penguin eggs and chicks, they form a threat to their population.
Moreover you will find following imported animals on Macquarie: finches, wild and tamed ducks, geese and chicken.
Luckily they could remove, in the meanwhile, the horses, donkeys, cows, sheep and dogs from the Island.
Because sledge dogs were very important for the discovery of Antarctica, these too were found there for a long time.
According to the Protocol of Madrid for Antarctica, they should be disappeared from there, in the meanwhile.
On other islands too, they try to get rid of those introduced animals.
On the Kerguelen-Islands you find reindeers, and cows on Amsterdam Island. While reindeers are good swimmers,
you can find them on other nearby islands too.
These imported animals have changed the entire environment. Herbivora destroy the vegetation and trample down the nests.
By the nesting behaviour and tunnel buildings of rabbits, they changed the soil of the islands.
Side effect is a change in the population of the penguins, and unfortunately it is not a good one.
next chapter: Antarctica stations