Wegmann, A.

Invasive alien species represent one of the greatest threats to native plants and animals on islands. Rats (Rattus spp.) have invaded most of the world’s oceanic islands, causing lasting or irreversible damage to ecosystems and biodiversity. To counter this threat, techniques to eradicate invasive rats from islands have been developed and applied across the globe. Eradication of alien rats from large or complex island ecosystems has only been successful with the use of bait containing a rodenticide.

Rat eradication is a highly effective tool for conserving biodiversity, but one that requires considerable planning eff ort, a high level of precision during implementation and carries no guarantee of success. Overall, rates of success are generally high but lower for tropical islands where most biodiversity is at risk. We completed a qualitative comparative review on four successful and four unsuccessful tropical rat eradication projects to better understand the factors influencing the success of tropical rat eradications and shed light on how the risk of future failures can be minimised.