Report

Many ant species that have been accidentally spread throughout the world have significant economic, environmental and social impacts in areas that they now infest. One of the most notable invasive ants is the Yellow crazy ant, A. gracilipes, and this species is present in Samoa, including on the Aleipata islands. The Aleipata islands are considered to be of great regional conservation significance because they are uninhabited, relatively pristine, contain many species threatened throughout greater Samoa, and lack many exotic species present within greater Samoa. The presence of A.

The Samoan islands of Nuutele and Nuulua from part of the Aleipata Marine Protected Area, in recognition of their contribution to biological diversity in Samoa. In a 1986 review of 226 islands in the South Pacific region, these islands together rated 30th in importance for biological diversity. The islands provide essential habitat for a reange of sea birds, bats and land birds such as the rare friendly ground dove, sea turtles, shell fish and other marine life.

An outbreak of the crown of thorn starfish (Acanthaster planci) was observed in a number of villages after the 2009 tsunami. The Division of Environment and Conservation (DEC) of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) and the Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture worked with the communities to collect the starfish mainly from the areas along the south and southeast coast of Upolu Island. This activity was undertaken to remove the majority of the COTs to reduce the impacts on the reef.

Myna birds are now found at high population around Samoa. They were at sight everywhere but seem more frequent around people's compounds and personal properties as well. Upon completion of the 9th poison baiting operation, the team conducted its 10th phase of baiting operation in Savaii for two weeks. This work marked as the second control work to be done in the big island.

Indian myna birds were introduced in Samoa within different periods for such reasons as to control cattle ticks. They have now spread to most parts of two main habitat islands of Samoa, Upolu and Savaii. The two introduced species of myna have now been commonly known as the Common Myna and the Jungle Myna.

Nuutele Island hosts a diverse range of plant species, significant populations of land and seabirds, fruit bats, coconut crabs and turtles. It is a small island with a total land mass of about 108ha and located south east of Upolu Island at 1.8km off the Aleipata coast. It is an important offshore island on this part of Samoa because not only does it hold a diversity of species but one of the first islands to include or part of a Marine Protected Area.

The second pig’s eradication was a follow up activity of the first eradication as it was reported that there are still more pigs on the island that needs to be cleared off. It is a concern to remove pigs from the island because of the high risk that lies ahead on human health from the toxic bait that will kill the rats during the rat eradication operation when pigs consume this toxic bait.

Life on Earth is disappearing fast and will continue to do so unless urgent action is taken. Well designed and effectively managed systems of protected areas are a vital tool for reducing biodiversity loss while delivering environmental goods and services that underpin sustainable development. There are currently over 130,000 protected areas worldwide, covering around 13.9 % of the Earth’s land surface and 5.9 % of the territorial marine surface. These areas represent a tremendous resource for conserving biodiversity and for protecting vital ecosystem services.

This report presents the findings of a research project conducted on the island of Nuutele. An offshore uninhabited island lying east of the main island of Upolu, Samoa. The island is home and haven to sea birds and most endangered endemic and native land birds of Samoa. However, the invasion of the island by rat of unknown species, population and distribution has raised the concern for serious wildlife management actions to protect the islands' bio-diversity.