“The project will be the single biggest conservation action to date to protect and enhance the World Heritage values of Lord Howe Island,” says Lord Howe Island Board CEO, Penny Holloway.
Lord Howe Island is home to many threatened, endemic and migratory species. Rodents have previously caused the extinction of five bird and 13 invertebrate species on the island and currently threaten another 70 species.
Eradication of rats and mice will be another significant step for recovery of unique threatened species and the island’s ecosystem following eradication of feral cats, pigs and goats in the 1980s.
Benefits of the Rodent Eradication Project include:
The project will distribute rodenticide (brodifacoum) in cereal-based pellets via helicopter in the uninhabited parts of the island and via hand broadcast and bait stations in the settlement area in winter 2018 (June or July).
Island Conservation’s regional director, Ray Nias, says the decision marks a highpoint in island conservation efforts globally.
“Lord Howe really is a piece of paradise and one that deserves to be rescued from the impacts of invasive species such as rodents,” he says.
Eradicating invasive species from Australian islands has long been recognised as providing immense long-term benefits. It will be a complex operation that requires extensive cooperation but if successful will allow the island’s unique wildlife to flourish and make Lord Howe Island an even more exceptional place to visit.
Blog source: Invasive Species Council