Management Action-Restoration

A study tour of restoration projects was conducted for seven participants from four Polynesian countries (American Samoa, Niue, Samoa and Tonga) between March 20 and 27, 2015 to Auckland, New Zealand. All participants are involved in restoration projects in their home country, most funded under the GEF-PAS "Prevention, control and management of invasive alien species in the Pacific Islands" Project. Seven restoration sites were visited, including 3 island sites and 4 mainland sites.

Seabirds are notoriously sensitive to introduced mammalian predators and eradication programs have benefitted seabird populations and their habitats on numerous islands throughout the world. However, less evidence is available from the tropics as to the benefits of rat eradication. Here, we report the seabird recovery and vegetation dynamics on a small coralline island of the tropical western Indian Ocean, eight years after Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) eradication.

Background: Recent reports on the state of the global environment provide evidence that humankind is inflicting great damage to the very ecosystems that support human livelihoods. The reports further predict that ecosystems will take centuries to recover from damages if they recover at all. Accordingly, there is despair that we are passing on a legacy of irreparable damage to future generations which is entirely inconsistent with principles of sustainability.

This report is a summary of the community consultations held on December 11, 2015 to discuss the draft operational plan for the restoration of the O Le Pupú Pu'e (OLPP) NP, as well as the community consultation were funded under the GEF-PAS (Global Environment Facility - Pacific Alliance for Sustainability) Regional Invasive Species Management Project.

Native birds and animals of New Zealand had very few predators. Until the introduction of pests and rats onto New Zealand soils, they were able to roam freely and could be found in great numbers. Nowadays, they are subjected to extinction at an alarming rate. In response, the Department of Conservation sent out a team to eradicate rats through an experiment that proved successful. It was planned that in 1990, the Department of Conservation were to introduce some of the endangered animal species back onto Breaksea Island.

New Zealand’s offshore and outlying islands have long been a focus of conservation biology as sites of local endemism and as last refuges for many species. During the c. 730 years since New Zealand has been settled by people, mammalian predators have invaded many islands and caused local and global extinctions. New Zealand has led international efforts in island restoration. By the late 1980s, translocations of threatened birds to predator-free islands were well under way to safeguard against extinction.

Ramsey Island, 259 ha, is ca. 1 km off the Pembrokeshire coast, south-west Wales. The eradication of brown rats (Rattus norvegicus) was successfully completed in the winter 1999/2000 using a ground-based bait station operation. The pre-eradication survey using tape playback estimated the Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) population to be 849 pairs. These surveys were repeated in 2007, 2012 and 2016. Each survey showed the Manx shearwater population had increased, reaching 4,796 pairs in 2016 with birds spreading from previously known breeding locations.