Gland, Switzerland

Invasive species are of signi?cant concern, especially in mega-diverse countries, because they cause negative e?ects such as loss of native biodiversity, ecological alterations, disease spread, and impacts on economic development and human health. In mainland Ecuador, information on invasive invertebrates in marine ecosystems is scarce. The objective of this study was to describe and locate the invasive species present in the rocky shores of the intertidal and subtidal zones along 10 areas (83 sites) covering most of the Ecuadorian coast during 2015–2016.

Management and eradication techniques for invasive alien birds remain in their infancy compared to invasive mammal control methods, and there are still relatively few examples of successful avian eradications. Since 2011, five separate eradication programmes for invasive birds have been conducted on three islands by the Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF). Target species were prioritised according to their threat level to the native biodiversity of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Seychelles, Aldabra Atoll and Vallée de Mai, which SIF is responsible for managing and protecting.

Despite the presence of invasive black rats (Rattus rattus), common mynas (Acridotheres tristis), and feral domestic cats (Felis catus), sooty terns (Onychoprion fuscatus) breed in large numbers on Ascension Island in the tropical South Atlantic Ocean. These introduced predators impact the terns by destroying eggs or interrupting incubation (mynas), eating eggs (mynas and rats), eating chicks (rats and cats), or eating adults (cats). Between 1990 and 2015, 26 censuses of sooty terns and five of mynas were completed and myna predation was monitored on 10 occasions.

Invasive plants and animals inflict much damage on native species and this is particularly the case on isolated oceanic islands with high degrees of endemism. Such islands commonly are important refugia for species of high conservation value. Some of the most pervasive and potent of invasive animal species are birds of the myna (Acridotheres) and bulbul (Pycnonotus) genera that historically were introduced to isolated islands as biological control agents for the management of insect pest species that can cause considerable economic damage to agricultural crops and wider ecosystems.

The endemic-rich amphibian fauna of the Philippine Archipelago (ca. 350,000 km2) includes six alien frogs: the American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus), Asiatic painted toad (Kaloula pulchra), cane toad (Rhinella marina), Chinese bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus rugulosus), green paddy frog (Hylarana erythraea), and greenhouse frog (Eleutherodactylus planirostris). The chronological history of their invasion across the Philippines was reconstructed based on historical and geographic data.

Invasive alien species are one of the primary threats to native biodiversity on islands worldwide, and their expansion continues due to global trade and travel. Preventing the arrival and establishment of highly successful invasive species through rigorous biosecurity is known to be more economic than the removal of these species once they have established. However, many islands around the world lack biosecurity regulations or practical measures and establishing biosecurity will require social and financial investments.

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.

In winter 2016, the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) eradicated mice (Mus musculus) from the Antipodes Islands located at 49°S 178°E, 760 km south-east of New Zealand’s South Island. Mice were the only mammalian pest species present. They have extensively impacted the abundance and survival of invertebrates, with likely secondary impacts on endemic terrestrial birds and nesting seabird fauna. Public-private partnerships with DOC instigated the project and provided essential financial support.

A successful ground-based eradication of black rats (Rattus rattus) was undertaken on the remote, uninhabited Shiant Isles of north-west Scotland over winter (14 October–28 March) 2015–16. The rat eradication was carried out as part of the Shiants Seabird Recovery Project, which aims to secure long-term breeding habitat for protected seabirds and to attract European storm petrels and Manx shearwaters to nest on the Shiants.

Montecristo and Pianosa islands, although approximately equal in surface area (c. 1,000 ha), di?er greatly in substrate, human presence, vegetation and altitude (650 m vs. 30 m asl, respectively). The former island hosts one of the largest yelkouan shearwater (Pu?nus yelkouan) populations in Italy, the latter a depleted remnant of once numerous Scopoli’s shearwaters (Calonectris diomedea). Two consecutive EU-funded LIFE projects have been designed to protect these seabird populations.