2018 Photo Contest, Environment, 2nd prize

Attack of the Zombie Mouse


Thomas P. Peschak

01 May, 2017

A juvenile gray-headed albatross on Marion Island, South African Antarctic Territory, is left injured after an attack by mice from an invasive species that has begun to feed on living albatross chicks and juveniles.

Mice were introduced to the island by sealers in the 1800s and co-existed with the birds for almost 200 years. In 1991, South Africa eradicated feral cats from Marion Island, but a subsequent plan to do the same to the mouse population failed to materialize. An expanding population and declining food sources led the abnormally large mice to attack albatrosses and burrowing petrels. An environmental officer has now been appointed to monitor the mouse population and conduct large-scale poison bait trials.

About the photographer

Thomas P. Peschak

Thomas P. Peschak is a National Geographic Photographer and National Geographic Explorer who specializes in documenting both the beauty and fragility of the world's oceans, i...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Focal length
34.0 mm

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