Feral dilemma: the life of a ranger on sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island.

Feral dilemma: the life of a ranger on sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island. Michael Anderson.
Feral dilemma: the life of a ranger on sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island.

Hobart: Forty South Publishing, 2014. Octavo, paperback, colour photographs, map.

This is the story of an extraordinary job, in an extraordinary place. As one of the rangers, Michael Anderson was there to eradicate the cats and control the rabbits. Feral cats, European rabbits, black rats and house mice were introduced to Macquarie Island back in the sealing days.

Sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island is a thin sliver of land cast adrift amidst the world’s greatest ocean, 1500 kilometres south east of Hobart, Tasmania. The plateau that stretches most of the length of the island slopes steeply to narrow coastal terraces and storm-lashed, rocky shores. The climate is vicious: an average 280 days of strong wind a year, 90 days at gale force. On most days some form of precipitation falls, whether rain, drizzle, hail or snow. In summer the island is home to around four million penguins and tens of thousands of seals, as well as albatrosses and several species of burrow-nesting seabirds.

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