For an incredible seven years, dedicated specialists scoured World Heritage listed Macquarie Island, in a project unprecedented in Australia, to eradicate the entire island of rabbits and rodents.

Steve Austin trained detector dogs including working springer spaniels, labradors, terriers and a terrier cross to search the entire 22 square kilometres of Macquarie Island to determine if the previous baiting program had been successful.

If it wasn’t for the dogs, the entire $25 million dollar program would have been an incredible waste.  The detection dogs discovered 13 rabbits had survived!  If those rabbits were left on the island, the entire project would have failed as rabbits breed at an incredibly fast rate so very quickly the rabbits would have multiplied and the entire 7 year project would have failed!

Press Release from the Hon. Greg Hunt:

ABC Video Report:

ABC News:

Premier of Tasmania:

Department of the Environment:

Australia Post Shop –

Australia Post honours the detector dogs of Macquarie Island with a new stamp series!

Australia Post have released a new stamp series called “The Dogs That Saved Macquarie Island” honouring the amazing work that was achieved. The stamps capture the amazing dogs and features some of the handlers who worked endlessly to achieve the success of the eradication of three invasive species. You can order the stamps here.

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