Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

The Hawaiian albatross island of Lehua is (nearly) rat free

The Hawaiian State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) recently announced that that the population of invasive Pacific Rats Rattus exulans on Lehua Island “remains extremely low” two years after three aerial applications of the rodenticide Diphacinone in 2017 (click here).

 

Lehua Island from the air

The 126-ha island, designated as a State Seabird Sanctuary, has supported small populations of Black-footed Phoebastria nigripes and Laysan P. immutabilis Albatrosses since at least 2002.  A few rat sightings from fixed cameras were made last year (click here) but no signs of rats eating eggs or chicks have been found since the last bait drop in September 2017.  However, although “no rats have been detected by camera since December 2018, or seen in traps or tracking tunnels ... the monitoring team in early-to-mid 2019 detected what appeared to be rat fecal pellets”.

DLNR field teams will continue to make regular monthly monitoring trips to Lehua and will do spot treatments if rats are detected.

Read more here.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 13 September 2019

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