IPCS Lands Cockatoo Inspections Project

IPCS has won the tender to supply inspection services to Cockatoo Island on an annual basis beginning in March of 2006.  The competition was extremely strident and we thank the IPCS staff who spent many hours producing the more than 200 pages of tendering documentation.  In the end I think the selection committee was persuaded that the breadth of IPCS knowledge and the depth of our experience made us the most qualified for the job.

We look forward to working with the staff of Cockatoo Island and to controlling any pests that may have found refuge there.

First Impressions of Cockatoo

Of native animals, land-crabs and rats swarm in numbers. Whether the rat is really indigenous may well be doubted; there are two varieties as described by Mr. Waterhouse; one is of a black colour, with fine glossy fur, and lives on the grassy summit, the other is brown-coloured and less glossy, with longer hairs, and lives near the settlement on the coast. Both these varieties are one-third smaller than the common black rat (M. rattus); and they differ from it both in the colour and character of their fur, but in no other essential respect. I can hardly doubt that these rats (like the common mouse, which has also run wild) have been imported, and, as at the Galapagos, have varied from the effect of the new conditions to which they have been exposed: hence the variety on the summit of the island differs from that on the coast.

Cockatoo Island 2006 Week 1

Looking back on last week’s post I realize I have been too engrossed in Voyage of the Beagle. Nevertheless, we are seeing evidence of rats in some of the more hidden locations, no doubt a legacy of the shipbuilding that took place here for many years. It is clear that part of our final report will have to include an eradication plan.

Cockatoo staff and rangers have been extremely helpful in arranging for us to inspect every location we have requested.

Cockatoo Inspection 2007 Finished

I am happy to say that the Rodent Eradication Project that we initiated last year seems to have been completely successful. We found no droppings or other evidence of rats in the cavernous areas we targetted last year, or anywhere else for that matter.

We also inspected some of the buildings for termites and found them pest-free. Laura shot numerous photos to document, some of which I have included in the post.

Cockatoo Inspection 2009

Today we launch the 2009 inspection of Cockatoo Island for all manner of pests. Because this is the third year since our initial engagement we have planned a more extensive survey, relying not just on sampling, as was the case in the last two years, but on a systematic search through all sections of the site according to the following plan:

1. Former Dockyard Areas
2. Former Prison Area
3. Former Industrial School Grounds and Buildings
4. Air Raid Shelter
5. Tunnels and Associated Cavities