The ecological balance of Macquarie Island has gone through several changes. The native fauna and flora have been affected by the introduction of several animal species and some plant species, leading to the extermination of some of the native species.
- Have students research the population fluctuations since 1810 of the following: rabbits, skuas, cats, burrow-nesting petrels, fur seals, elephant seals. Ask them to extrapolate to a point ten years in the future and show what they expect to happen to these populations.
- Look at the effect introduced species would have on the native fauna of Antarctica, taking into account the effect of global warming and the changes in the environment this might cause. Look at the effect introduced species have in Australia e.g. rabbits, cane toads, prickly pear cactus.
- You can monitor the Macquarie Island Pest Eradication Project (MIPEP) through the Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania.
- Conduct a debate on whether or not huskies should have been allowed to stay in Antarctica. See huskies in Antarctica.
Issue - Wilderness
There are still some parts of the Antarctic that have never been visited by humans. Should there be areas set aside that are forever protected from humans?