Restoration of Important Pacific Seabird Islands - Phase 3

 Red footed Booby Photo: Julien Baudat-Franceschi
Red-footed Booby. Photo: Julien Baudat-Franceschi

Donor: David & Lucile Packard Foundation

Project Impact: In total Phase Three will lead to the restoration of breeding habitats for 29 seabird species including one Critically Endangered, three Endangered, two Vulnerable and two Near Threatened species, and presents a unique opportunity for the protection of nationally, regionally and globally important seabirds.

Overview: In an effort to address this serious threat posed by invasive alien species, and secure globally important seabird colonies, the Pacific Partnership of BirdLife International has been supported by the David & Lucile Packard Foundation to identify opportunities for island restoration and eradicate alien predators from critical seabird islands throughout the Pacific Islands region.

In Phase One of the programme (2007-2009) sixteen islands in four countries (Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Palau) were treated for rodents. This developed considerable technical and organizational capacities among BirdLife Partners for eradications and seabird conservation - enhancing the protection of seventeen seabird species.

Phase Two (2009 - 2012) built on these foundations advancing restoration priorities for important seabird islands in Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Palau, and the Cook Islands. Specifically it planned and implemented restoration action for nineteen priority sites in Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Palau, along with monitoring the impacts of eradication operations from Phase One, whilst also working with local communities and government agencies towards the perpetual safeguarding of these seabird islands. Finally, the work also identified the next suite of priority sites for restoration and advanced preparations for future operations.

Building on the growing capacity and expertise within the BirdLife Pacific Partnership, Phase Three is strengthening the support and implementation of island restoration work from local to global. Treated sites are being monitored to assess outcomes, share lessons, and ensure biosecurity. Novel and cost-effective methods are being trialled to enhance seabird responses at secured sites. The two largest eradication operations undertaken by the Pacific Partnership to date are being planned and implemented. Complex technical planning processes for a number of future priority sites are being progressed through scoping surveys, feasibility studies and detailed operational plans. At the local level, site support groups and in-country stakeholder networks are being strengthened and formalized. Increased technical capacity is being established at the regional level to train and support our implementing in-country BirdLife Partners.

Perhaps most significantly of all, Phase Three is developing and launching a global BirdLife Invasive Alien Species Programme that will: build long-term capacity and growing support for eradications; leverage significant additional funds for larger operations; improve co-ordination, and; sharing of best practice across our global Partnership of 121conservation NGOs.

BirdLife Invasive Species Programme Video - Saving Suwarrow's Seabirds