All news articles

January 29th, 2014
Saving the World’s Most Endangered Lizards
January 29th, 2014
Salvando a las Lagartijas en Mayor Peligro del Mundo
November 25th, 2013
Island Conservation Impact Report
October 23rd, 2013
Hawadax Island Recovery Exceeding Expectations
October 15th, 2013
One Step Closer to Restoring Balance and Safe Seabird Habitat in Gwaii Haanas
July 24th, 2013
Back from the Brink of Extinction
July 24th, 2013
International Experts Convened to Improve Tropical Island Rodent Eradications
June 11th, 2013
Titi on Tahanea get a Helping Hand; Globally Endangered Shorebird Protected
June 11th, 2013
Coup de pouce pour les Titi de Tahanea. Protection d’un limicole en danger d’extinction
June 11th, 2013
Parks Canada and the Haida Nation Restoring Critical Seabird Habitat
June 4th, 2013
Native Iguanas and Shearwaters Saved from Invasive Mice on Allen Cay, The Bahamas
May 16th, 2013
Invasive Species: The 18-km2 rat trap
February 14th, 2013
Island Night Lizard: No longer threatened?
February 14th, 2013
Island Recovery Evident Ten Years after the Removal of Rats
January 14th, 2013
Battle at the End of Eden by Amanda R. Martinez
January 14th, 2013
Native Species Expected to Rebound on Rat-free Palmyra Atoll
December 8th, 2012
Galápagos Restoration Projects Makes Islands Safe for Native Species
December 8th, 2012
Island Conservation Opens New Office in Hawaii
July 31st, 2012
Funding secured for Lord Howe Island restoration
July 31st, 2012
Tahanea Atoll Motus now safe for the Titi!
July 31st, 2012
Island Conservation and Birdlife International Form Partnership to Tackle Pacific Pests
June 14th, 2012
Million Dollar Mouse Campaign
May 31st, 2012
It's Official!
May 1st, 2012
Restoring Wildlife Habitat on Desecheo Island
May 1st, 2012
Restauración del Hábitat del Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre de Desecheo
October 31st, 2011
The Sounds of Recovery
October 31st, 2011
Olivier Langrand joins Island Conservation as Director of Global Affairs
ARCHIVED ARTICLES
02/2012 Native Species on San Nicolas Island are Now Free to Reclaim Their Island Home
09/2011 Meet Dr. Ray Nias
09/2011 Palmyra: No Place for Pessimists
09/2011 Palmyra Atoll Restoration Project Completes Operational Phase to Remove Non-native Rats
07/2011 Island Hopping: Saving Species in the Tropical Pacific
04/2011 Meet our new Caribbean Regional Director!
03/2011 The Surfer's Journal meets Island Conservation
03/2011 Galapagos Restoration Partners Release Hawks Back to Islands
03/2011 Socios a cargo de la restauración de Galápagos liberan a veinte gavilanes en las islas
01/2011 Galápagos Restoration Project Achieves Conservation Milestone
12/2010 Island Conservation's 2009 Annual Report
12/2010 Island Conservation's Annual Report
08/2010 Rat Island is officially rat-free!
08/2010 IC helps Robinson Crusoe Island residents with tsunami recovery
05/2010 Meet our new South America Regional Director!
05/2010 Author David Quammen speaks on behalf of Island Conservation
03/2010 2010 International Year of Biodiversity
12/2009 Island Conservation's 2008 Annual Report
09/2009 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Publishes Priority List for Restoration of Islands with Invasive Species
05/2009 Island Conservation Honored with Department of Interior Partners in Conservation Award
12/2008 Saving Seabirds in the Aleutians
04/2008 IC and Galapagos and Machalilla National Parks unite to protect Waved Albatross on Isla de la Plata

 
January 24th, 2011
Galápagos Restoration Project Achieves Conservation Milestone
Your donations at work - saving the diversity of life in the Galápagos Archipelago

The Galápagos National Park, assisted by Island Conservation, the Charles Darwin Foundation, Bell Laboratories, The Raptor Center of the University of Minnesota, and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, is working to prevent extinctions and restore altered ecosystems on the Galápagos by permanently removing damaging introduced rodents from key islands. On the 7-8th and 14-15th of January 2011, two treatments of rodent bait donated by Bell Laboratories were applied by helicopter to the islands of Rábida, Bartolomé, Sombrero Chino, North Plaza, the two Beagle islets, and three of the Bainbridge Rocks in the first phase of this project.

 “This project is the first of its kind in South America, and a significant step in the ongoing program to protect the native species of the Galapagos,” said Victor Carrion, who is the Technical Coordinator for the Park. “Previous rodent control efforts by the Park over the past four decades have reduced impacts of introduced rodents in specific zones but this project takes a further step by complete elimination of those impacts and costly ongoing management.”

The islands included in this first phase of the project cover 704 hectares and are home to 12 unique Galapagos species considered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature to be threatened with extinction. These threatened species include, Galapagos penguins and Scalesia stewartii (a tree forming daisy and the plant equivalent of one of Darwin’s finches).

 

“Invasive species pose the greatest threat to nature in the Galapagos,” said Felipe Cruz, Director of Technical Assistance at the Charles Darwin Foundation. “We are fortunate to be working with a consortium of international experts in rodent removal techniques to develop lasting solutions to one of the most significant conservation problems affecting the Galapagos."

According to Bill Waldman, Executive Director of Island Conservation, “The methods we used in this phase of the restoration project operation have been successful on dozens of other islands throughout the world in completely eliminating invasive rodents and providing immediate and sustained benefits to native animals and plants.”

This restoration project included the capture of twenty Galapagos Hawks from the two largest islands involved in the project prior to the start of the operation. The partners, led by the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota, established a holding facility for the hawks on a nearby island. The planning process for this project identified that Galapagos Hawks would face a high risk of feeding on invasive rodents which had consumed rodent bait. To mitigate this risk, the hawks are being held in captivity for approximately two months until the risk period is over.

According to Julia Ponder, Executive Director of The Raptor Center, “the hawk enclosures were designed according to best-practice to minimize stress and injury, and the birds have quickly settled down in their temporary refuge. This brief period of captivity is not expected to impact the birds’ natural behavior and we’ll be monitoring hawks for a year using telemetry back-packs post-release.”

This project builds capacity within the Galapagos National Park to be able to eradicate invasive rodents and prevent imminent extinctions on other Galapagos Islands where rodents are predating on endemic fauna and flora. There are three types of introduced rodent in Galapagos: black rats, Norway rats, and house mice. These rodents on several larger Galapagos Islands have adversely affected reproduction of tortoises, iguanas, and land and seabirds. The partners expect to adapt the techniques used in this first phase to remove rodents from larger islands in the future. In 2008, a pilot project eliminated rodents from the small island of North Seymour.

As rodents can be difficult to detect at low densities, two years of monitoring is standard practice to confirm that the islands are rodent-free.

Contact:

Vanesa García, Head of Public Relations, Galápagos National Park, vgarcia@spng.org.ec  

Hugo Arnal, South America Program Director, Island Conservation,
hugo.arnal@islandconservation.org

Gabriel Lopez, Executive Director, Charles Darwin Foundation
gabriel.lopez@fcdarwin.org.ec

Julia Ponder, Executive Director, The Raptor Center,
ponde003@umn.edu

Glyn Young, Conservation Biologist, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust,
Glyn.Young@durrell.org

For more information about the project and island restoration, please visit these partner websites:

Galápagos National Park http://galapagospark.org

Island Conservation http://www.islandconservation.org

Charles Darwin Foundation http://www.darwinfoundation.org

Bell Laboratories http://www.belllabs.com

The Raptor Center http://www.theraptorcenter.org

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust http://www.durrell.org

To download a .pdf of this press release, click
 here 

Bartolome Island in the Galápagos Archipelago

Copyright 2007 Island Conservation • All Rights Reserved   |   Disclaimer • Privacy Policy • Site Map • Contact Us