Eradication

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.

In 1989, the kakerori (Pomarea dimidiata) was one of the ten rarest bird species in the world, with a declining population of just 29 birds in the Takitumu Conservation Area (TCA) of southeastern Rarotonga. As a result of conservation management, the kakerori population rebounded, with up to 300 birds being recorded on Rarotonga and Atiu in 2004/05. The southern Cook Islands was, however, hit by five tropical cyclones over a 4-week period in February–March 2005, and much of the forest on exposed faces, spurs and ridges (traditional kakerori habitat) was severely damaged.

In 1989, the kakerori (Pomarea dimidiata) was one of the ten rarest bird species in the world, with a declining population of just 29 birds living in south-eastern Rarotonga. As a result of conservation management, the kakerori population has rebounded, with a minimum of 281 birds on Rarotonga and 19 birds on Atiu in summer 2004/05. Since 2001, the emphasis of management in the Takitumu Conservation Area (TCA) on Rarotonga has shifted from the ‘recovery’ of kakerori to ‘sustaining’ the population at 250–300 individuals.

The islands of Nu'utele and Nu'ulua have been identified as highly significant sites for conservation in Samoa. They hold large populations of species currently found nowhere else in the country' including threatened land-birds, seabirds and nesting