Invasive alien species represent an insidious and pervasive threat to the environmental, economic and human well-being of the Pacific islands. Pacific island ecosystems make up one of the world’s important biodiversity hotspots, with high numbers of endemic species that are particularly vulnerable to extinction due to their limited habitat and isolation.

The two most fundamental pieces of information necessary to begin developing ecological studies and conservation strategies for reptiles (or any organisms) are identifying the species and knowing what a species does in its natural habitat.

Think of a challengeing conservation problem you have encounteres - protecting a rare species, winning support for legislation, cleaning up a river, or sustainably managing a forest.

New Zealand, an archipelago of more than 2000 islands, has a terrestrial fauna especially depauperate in native land mammals. Kiore (Rattus exulans) was the first of four rodent species introduced by people. A project to eradicate invasive rats from Kapiti Island in 1996, represented a turning point in the technology, complexity and scale at which managers of natural heritage on New Zealand islands could operate. This paper includes case studies of some significant projects targeting rodents, sometimes with other introduced mammals, undertaken in the 12 years following Kapiti.

The WHO Guide to sanitation in natural disasters (Assar, 1971) summarized the essential aspects of environmental health management in disasters. These included the provision of emergency water and sanitation services; the burial or cremation of the dead; vector and pest control; food hygiene; and the assessment of the danger of epidemics following emergencies and disasters, etc. Thirty years later these aspects remain essential, though the needs, challenges and opportunities are greater.

Agriculture and food production offer stable livelihood options to rural communities throughout Asia and the Pacific region. Even as the effects of globalization spread in the region, farm production – most often at the smallholder level – continues to be a family enterprise. A fair share of farmers in the region engages in subsistence farming and poverty is a common occurrence among them. Farm enterprises are mostly managed by family members and family labour is a critical asset and often the only reliable investment.

Big South Cape Island (Taukihepa) is a 1040 ha island, 1.5 km from the southwest coast of Stewart Island/Rakiura, New Zealand. This island was rat-free until the incursion of ship rats (Rattus rattus) in, or shortly before, 1963, suspected to have been accidentally introduced via local fishing boats that moored at the island with ropes to the shore, and were used to transport the mutton birders to the island.

The importance of vector and pest control in disasters and emergencies

BBC website news article - Flood hit South Indian state of Kerala 11 people died of leptospirosis; After floods expect to see water-borne diseases like cholera, typhoid, diarrhoea, hepatitis and rat fever