In the heart of the Southern Ocean, nestled amidst the icy embrace of Antarctica, lies Marion Island. This remote outpost, a jewel of South Africa's natural heritage, is facing a battle for survival with global consequences. The culprit? Invasive House Mice, accidentally introduced by humans centuries ago. These "killer mice," as they've aptly been dubbed, are wreaking havoc on the island's fragile ecosystem, preying on its globally important seabirds and invertebrates, and disrupting the delicate balance of life.
An Island in Peril
Marion Island is a haven for an extraordinary array of seabirds. Sooty albatrosses with their impressive wingspans, and elegant grey-headed albatrosses, call this island home. But their future is under threat. The mice, voracious predators, devour their eggs and chicks, pushing these magnificent birds toward the brink of local extinction. The consequences ripple further, impacting the island's vegetation and the health of the entire ecosystem.
Hope on the Horizon: The Mouse-Free Marion Project
But amidst the grim reality, there shines a beacon of hope – the Mouse-Free Marion Project. This ambitious undertaking aims to eradicate the mice once and for all, safeguarding the island's biodiversity for generations to come. The plan? An aerial drop of rodenticide-laced cereal bait across the entire island during the harsh winter of 2026. This audacious feat requires a collective effort, and the project is reaching out to the public for support.
Take Action: Sponsor a Hectare, Save a Seabird
For just R1000, you can sponsor a hectare of Marion Island and become a champion for its feathered residents. Imagine, with your contribution, a vast stretch of the island will be free from the threat of mice, allowing seabirds to nest and raise their young in peace. Every hectare sponsored brings us closer to the ultimate goal – a mouse-free Marion Island, teeming with life once again.
A Call to Action: Be an Earth Guardian, Protect Our Planet
Perhaps R1000 seems a bit out of reach? Don't worry, there's a way for everyone to join the fight. Romario Valentine, a 12-year-old environmental champion and recipient of the prestigious Owlet Award, embodies the spirit of the Mouse-Free Marion Project. Romario, an active campaigner since the age of 6, shows us that anyone can be an earth guardian. His book, Protect our Planet – Take Action with Romario is a testament to his passion and a call to action for all of us. He set up a Back a Buddy Page with the goal of raising R50000 for the project. What is amazing is that only just over R4000 needs to be raised for him to reach his target by the 31st of January!
From beach cleanups and tree planting to supporting conservation projects like Mouse-Free Marion, every action, big or small, paves the way for a healthier planet. Let's join hands, stand with Romario, and answer the call of Marion Island. Together, we can rewrite the island's story, transforming it from a battleground into a thriving sanctuary for generations to come.
To donate to this important fundraiser, visit Romario's 'Back-a-Buddy' page - https://www.backabuddy.co.za/romarios-seabirds-christmas-gift
Remember, when we take care of nature, we take care of ourselves. Will you answer the call and become a champion for Marion Island?
Together, we can make a difference. Let's save Marion Island, one hectare, one contribution, one earth guardian at a time.
Mouse-Free Marion Project website: https://mousefreemarion.org/
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