Tonga

The Kingdom of Tonga requested assistance from the US Department of Agriculture. Forest Service,Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, to conduct a survey of invasive plant species of

In June/July 2002 an eradication programme to remove Pacific rats from Maninita Island in the Vava'u group of the Kingdom of Tonga was initiated. The techniques used were similar to those

The Pacific islands of Oceania cover almost 15% of the world's surface and are characterised by a high degree of ecosystem and species diversity. The region is characterised by thousands of isolated small coral atolls and higher volcanic islands, which has led to the high diversity of species found today. In fact, the number of plants and animals found nowhere else on earth (endemic species) is extremely high - often up to 90% for particular groups. Often, these rare and endemic species are adapted to specialised habitats and limited to small areas of a few islands.

The importance of coastal and marine environments to every aspect of the lives of Pacific Islanders cannot be overstated. Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) maintain resource rights and management responsibilities for over 30 million square kilometres of ocean, equivalent to the total land area of Canada, China and the United States of America. The total population of coastal Pacific Islanders is only 2.6 million. There are 11 square kilometres of ocean for each Pacific Islander.

The influence on crop damage of Rattus norvegicus, Rattus rattus, and the native Polynesian rat, Rattus exulans, was studied during the establishment of a rat control program for the Tongan Department of Agriculture in 1969. This was the first long-term study of Tongan rodents. Previous scientific literature on Tongan mammals is very sparse. The Kingdom of Tonga, or Friendly Islands, consists of approximately 150 small islands with a combined area of about 256 square miles at lat 21 0 S.

Tonga’s marine ecosystems are worth at least TOP 47 million per year, exceeding the country’s total export value. We are strongly committed to sustaining these values to build an equitable and prosperous blue economy.

Pacific island ecosystems make up one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, with high levels of endemism. However, Pacific islands areparticularly vulnerable to invasive species; because of their isolation and relatively recent human occupation, native species have not evolved to cope with the impacts of predators, herbivores...