Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

UPDATED. Second time lucky? Rat eradication has commenced by aerial bait drop on Hawaii’s Lehua Island

UPDATE: Get the whole story from island Conservation's Operation Lehua website.

Lehua is a small, crescent-shaped island situated a kilometre off the coast of Kauai in the USA’s Hawaiian Islands. Small numbers of Black-footed Phoebastria nigripes and Laysan P. immutabilis Albatrosses, both globally Near Threatened, have bred on Lehua since at least 2002. Large numbers of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters Ardenna pacifica also breed.  Lehua is managed as a State Seabird Sanctuary.

Lehua Island, photographs by Eric Vanderwerf

An attempt to rid the island of Pacific Rats Rattus exulans in 2009 was unsuccessful but now after study and discussion over several years and the issuing of the necessary permits the operation is being repeated. The first of three planned aerial drops of bait totalling 10 tons containing the first-generation anticoagulant rodenticide Diphacinone was undertaken this week, with the following drops expected in the next few weeks depending on the weather. Ground baiting was also undertaken.

“The [first stage of the] operation was executed as planned - successfully, safely, and under the close watch of regulators from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and an independent monitoring team from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.” (click here).

Read more media reports here and here.

Read more on Lehua Island and its albatrosses in ACAP Latest News here.

View the Lehua Island Restoration Project Final Environmental Assessment for more information.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 25 August 2017, updated 26 August 2017

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