Quantcast

Lord Howe Island to become rat-free

By BirdLife Australia, Mon, 13/08/2012 - 02:39

BirdLife Australia (BirdLife Partner) is delighted by the recent announcement made by Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke and NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker to commit $9 million to eradicate rodents from Lord Howe Island. Lord Howe Island, a World Heritage Area and a globally significant Important Bird Area, is home to 182 bird species, three of which are endemic - making it one of Australia’s most important seabird islands.

However since settlement, nine of Lord Howe Island’s endemic birds have become extinct due to rats and other human-related pressures, and today at least 13 different birds on Lord Howe Island are still threatened by rodents, including the Nationally Vulnerable White-bellied Storm-Petrel and Lord Howe Woodhen. Rats have also been implicated in the decline and extinction of 13 invertebrate and two plant species. The Lord Howe Group is the only breeding site in Australasia for the White-bellied Storm-Petrel, and one of only two Australasian breeding sites where the Kermadec Petrel breeds; due to predation by rodents, neither species still breeds on the main island, and they now only nest on Balls Pyramid, a small, rat-free island offshore from Lord Howe Island. Last year BirdLife Australia committed to a campaign to secure funding for the eradication of rodents from Lord Howe Island.

Our State of Australia’s Birds 2010 highlighted the eradication of rodents from Lord Howe Island as a key priority, and our Head of Conservation, Samantha Vine, wrote to all relevant parliamentarians, calling for the eradication plan to be funded under the ‘Caring for our Country’ program. We asked our supporters to do the same. Thanks to the effort of everyone who did their bit, we will soon see the largest eradication operation to be attempted on an inhabited island. It will have enduring conservation benefits for biodiversity globally: at least 13 bird species, 49 floral species, 12 ecological communities, and plenty more will benefit. The reduction in predation and resource competition will also increase the resilience of all species on Lord Howe Island to the impacts of climate change. Exciting news indeed.


Pacific Australia Invasive Alien Species - Pacific

Comments

Interesting! I hope that everyone had a great and safe weekend!

Now the Lord Howe Island woodhen should be able to live undisturbed. As well as the Lord Howe Island stick insect, the rarest insect in the world. This means the seeds of the island's 241 endemic plants will no longer be eaten by rats. For rats eating seeds, is what led to the extinction of Easter Island's endemic plant life.

Yes, keep LHI a bio-diversity hotspot. New Zealand Department of Conservation (NZDoC) ex-Southland Manager, Peter Mc Lelland is the consultant who came to see LHI, and proposed that a poisoning using helicopters dropping poisoned Brodifacoum (most highly toxic poison and anti-coagulant in the world and recommended NOT to be used near any population / habitation). Peter McLelland has spent his working life killing nature, including work on all of New Zealand and all outlying islands. But listen to how little the powers that be care about pristine nature and beauty. So supposedly this poison drop would happen to kill some rats and mice that are already under control with bait stations. And the bi-kill would also be massive - birds, reef, fish, cetaceans and trees and bushland. So the NSW Environment Minister in 2012 under Julia Gillard - Tony Burke, agreed to fund this proposal to the tune of state and federal grants of ------------with AUD$9million. Dogs might die. Cattle well, what about cattle? LHI is 11 miles long and less than 2miles wide. It is a bio-diversity hotspot and has the best coral reef and the most southerly coral reef in Australia. LHI has the only mutton bird breeding colony on the east-coast of Australia (fledgling mutton birds take two years to mature after hatching from eggs on the floor of the kentia palm forest where the birds live in specially dug-out holes.) They would die. And there are 500 different birds breeding and living on the island. The fish are so beautiful they take your breath away. That's why tourists love LHI. It is unthinkable that the Australian governments would treat such a treasure and its remarkable bio-diversity as you would a toilet - dropping poison everywhere and killing all life. The truth is that this would simply be another crime against nature, so everyone at Lord Howe island, make sure you don't ever let this crime happen. BEWARE. TAKE CARE OF YOUR PRISTINE BEAUTY AND NATURAL HERITAGE.

Add new comment

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.