United Kingdom

The spread of invasive non-native species presents one of the greatest threats to biodiversity globally: invasive species are the primary driver of biodiversity loss on islands and the second largest everywhere else (CBD ; Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005). Many of the UK’s island ecosystems have been damaged by the arrival and establishment of invasive non-native species. Introduced predators have caused particularly catastrophic damage to many species of waders and seabirds, undoubtedly causing numerous extirpations as well as contributing to ongoing declines(Stanbury et al. 2017).

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.

Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels (SSRS), launched in 2009, is a project to stop the decline of core populations of Scotland’s native red squirrel. It is a partnership project between Scottish Wildlife Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland, RSPB Scotland, Scottish Land & Estates and the Red Squirrel Survival Trust. The aim is the containment of the invasive non-native grey squirrel, which poses a dual threat to red squirrels through competition and disease transmission.

Eradication techniques using ground-based devices were developed in New Zealand in the early 1970s to target invasive rodents. Since then, different bait station designs, monitoring tools and rodenticide baits have been developed, and changes in field techniques have improved and streamlined these operations. The use of these techniques has been taken around the world to eradicate rodents from islands. Eradication technology has moved rapidly from ground-based bait station operations to aerial application of rodenticides.

The Falkland Islands (FI), as with many island ecosystems, is vulnerable to invasive species, which can cause wide ranging social and environmental consequences. Control of invasive species is widely recognised as a priority, but there have never been attempts to use classical biological control (CBC) for this purpose in FI. The European earwig was recently introduced to the FI and has since become abundant in the Stanley area and some other settlements on the islands. Earwigs now cause considerable damage to garden crops and also pose a number of health hazards.

The inhabited Isles of Scilly, 45 km off the south-western tip of the UK, are home to 13 seabird species including European storm petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus) and Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus), for which the UK has a global responsibility. Between 1983 and 2006, the overall seabird population in Scilly declined by c.25%. This decline triggered the establishment of the Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project, a partnership with the aims to reverse seabird decline and engage the local community and visitors in conserving Scilly’s seabird heritage.

Invasive rodents are successful colonists of many ecosystems around the world, and can have very flexible foraging behaviours that lead to differences in spatial ranges and seasonal demography among individuals and islands. Understanding such spatial and temporal information is critical to plan rodent eradication operations, and a detailed examination of an island’s rat population can expand our knowledge about possible variation in behaviour and demography of invasive rats in general.

As part of the Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project, and directed by Wildlife Management International Ltd, the eradication of brown rats (Rattus norvegicus) from the inhabited islands of St Agnes & Gugh, Isles of Scilly was completed between October 2013 and April 2014 with the assistance of volunteers, and staff from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust and Natural England. Bait stations with cereal-based wax blocks containing bromadiolone at 0.005% w/w were established on a 40–50 metre grid over the island.

This essay offers a 25-year overview of eff orts to remove Pacific rats (Rattus exulans) from the four islands of the Pitcairn group. Following the 1991–1992 discovery that rats were severely reducing breeding success of gadfly petrels (Pterodroma spp.), Wildlife Management International proposed eradication. Eradication success was achieved using ground-based baiting on the small atolls of Ducie and Oeno in 1997, and there is now evidence of petrel recovery on Oeno, but two eradication attempts on inhabited Pitcairn (1997 and 1998) failed.

Bense and Little Bense Islands (144 ha total area) have, for over a century, supported populations of three introduced pest mammals: Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus), house mouse (Mus musculus), and European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). An operation to eradicate these mammals simultaneously was undertaken in winter 2016. Cereal pellets laced with brodifacoum (25 ppm) were hand-broadcast on both islands in two applications with 3,900 kg of bait applied in total. Baiting transects were spaced at 20 m intervals and bait-throwing positions located every 20 m along each transect.