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The wild and beautiful Breaksea Island, 3 hours by sea out from Doubtful Sound, was identified back in the late 1970s as an ideal refuge for endangered birds, if it were not for its ever-growing population of rats.

When Ecologist Rowley Taylor came up with a method to eradicate the vermin from this steep 170 hectare area, everyone thought he was mad. But with the help of Bruce Thomas and support from the Fiordland National Park, the invasive Norway rat population was successfully removed, first from Hawea Island in 1986 and then Breaksea two years later. Rowley and Bruce were among the first in the world to eradicate pests from islands and their work paved the way for the establishment of sanctuaries for native and endangered species.

Almost twenty years on from their pioneering project, the two return to see the fruits of their labour, and to relive the gory glory of their battle against the rat.