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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

 
June 4th, 2013
Native Iguanas and Shearwaters Saved from Invasive Mice on Allen Cay, The Bahamas
Allen Cay, The Bahamas was declared free of damaging, invasive house mice today by a partnership restoring the Cay’s natural environment, seabirds, and Endangered iguanas.

6 June 2013 

“This announcement is a major milestone for the recovery of Allen Cay and for our partnership. We plan to replicate this success on other islands being damaged by invasive alien species,” said Eric Carey, Executive Director for the Bahamas National Trust (BNT). The partnership includes BNT, Island Conservation, Dr. John Iverson of Earlham College, and Dr. Will Mackin. Funding support was provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Recovered Oil Fund for Wildlife, and charter boat operator Powerboat Adventures and the John G. Shedd Aquarium also made significant contributions to the project.
 
Allen Cay supports the third largest breeding population of Audubon’s Shearwaters (Puffinus lherminieri lherminieri) in the Bahamas, as well as The Bahamas-endemic Allen Cay Rock Iguana (Cyclura cychlura inornata) listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The inadvertent introduction of non-native house mice, a primary food source for Barn Owls, led to an artificially higher number of the transient Barn Owls which then ate large numbers of Audubon’s Shearwaters. As a result, the mortality rate for Audubon’s Shearwaters was twice as high on Allen Cay compared to nearby cays without invasive rodents. The decline of Audubon’s Shearwaters and the lack of breeding iguanas were strong indicators that the Cay’s threatened natural ecosystem required action.


To download these photos in high-resolution, click here.

In 2009, the BNT, Island Conservation, Dr. John Iverson (Earlham College), and Dr. Will Mackin forged a partnership to develop and implement plans to remove house mice from Allen Cay. To ensure and document success, the partners conducted extensive planning, field-trials, on-site monitoring, and public outreach. After careful review, The Bahamas Ministry of Environment authorized the project in April 2012. The partners then took action and implemented the removal project in May 2012.
 
Last week, the partnership visited the Cay, confirmed the absence of mice, and supported Earlham College scientists as they reintroduced resident iguanas that had been translocated to a nearby cay to avoid disturbance during the restoration project. The confirmation team saw early signs of a recovering island ecosystem, and preliminary findings suggest a significant drop in the Audubon’s Shearwater mortality since mice have been removed.
 
The Caribbean, including the Bahamas, is home to significant biological diversity, hosting nearly 8,000 species of plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. However, invasive alien species—introduced flora and fauna that disrupt the island’s natural balance and compete with or eat native plants and animals—are a leading threat to native species in this region. Globally, since 1500, 80 percent of all extinctions have occurred on islands. Some 40 percent of all animal species at risk of extinction today rely on islands. “Seabirds, iguanas, and other wildlife in The Bahamas are very sensitive to introduced plants and animals. This project and similar actions can help to reverse the declines they have experienced,” said Dr. Mackin.
 
The mouse-removal effort is a significant part of a larger effort to restore the natural environment of Allen Cay. Subsequent work to enhance breeding habitat will be done to increase the chance of recruitment and recovery of the iguana population. Following the removal of invasive mice, natural cavities were filled with sand to provide ideal nesting sites for female Allen Cay Rock Iguanas. Such efforts will continue into the future.
 
“We have just eliminated one of the biggest problems facing island iguanas today, invasive species, and now have the possibility of doubling the world's population of the Endangered Allen Cay Rock Iguana,” said Dr. Iverson.
 
But there is more to be done. To ensure permanent protection of the iguanas and shearwaters, the reinvasion of invasive mice must be avoided. It is essential that recreational boaters and local fishermen understand the impacts that introduced rodents can have on these island ecosystems so they can take steps to help prevent reintroduction. To minimize the risk of reintroduction of mice, BNT will develop and implement a biosecurity plan and work with recreational boaters and fishers to reduce the risk of future invasions.
 
“We are excited to announce the success of this project and partnership,” said Island Conservation’s Executive Director, Bill Waldman. “The partnership has already begun to leverage this achievement into more projects to protect The Bahamas’ rich biodiversity from invasive alien species.”
 
About Allen Cay, The Bahamas: Allen Cay is located in the northern Exuma Islands, approximately 60 km southeast of Nassau, The Bahamas. This karst formation is approximately 1 km long, 5 m in elevation, and 100 m wide.
 
Contact:
Lynn Gape - lgape@bnt.bs; 242-393-1317; www.bnt.bs
Heath Packard – heath.packard@islandconservation.org; +1-360-584-305;
Dr. John Iverson - johni@earlham.edu; +1-765-983-1405; www.earlham.edu
Dr. William Mackin - willmackin@gmail.com; +1-919-358-1714

Click here to learn more about the Allen Cay Restoration Project.
To view/download this press release, click here
 
      
 
*The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government or the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government or the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Audubon's Shearwater on Allen Cay, The Bahamas

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