nick holmes island conservation science bbc interview

BBC’s The Newsroom: Restore These 169 Islands to Curb the Extinction Crisis

The BBC Newsroom features Dr. Nick Holmes, lead author on a new study which identified 169 islands where the removal of invasive species can help curb the extinction crisis.

Listen to the interview with Dr. Nick Holmes on BBC’s The Newsroom at 14:30.

Invasive species are one of the leading causes of extinction on islands around the world, and removing them is one of the most effective conservation actions available today. Decades of research have proven the effectiveness of removing invasive species and restoring island ecosystems.

Galápagos Petrels are one of the 54 ICUN Threatened species that would benefit from the restoration of Floreana Island, Galápagos. Credit: Galápagos National Park

New research published in PLOS ONE identified 169 islands where the removal of invasive species is socially, politically, and technically feasible to begin by 2030. Restoring these islands would ultimately benefit 111 species or 9.4% of highly threatened island vertebrates. Island Conservation Director of Science, Dr. Nick Holmes, explains:

What we have in our paper is a story of hope. These are places in the world where we can direct or attention.”

A Scripps’s Murrelet chick on Anacapa Island, California Channel Islands, USA. Credit: Island Conservation/Shaye Wolf

Restoring these islands is possible and follow almost 1,000 examples of successful projects where removal of invasive species restored an ecosystem. Dr. Nick Holmes points to the removal of invasive rats from Anacapa Island by Island Conservation, the Channel Islands National Park, California Department of Fish and Game, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which allowed the native Scripps’s Murrelet to thrive and spared the species from being listed as “Endangered.”

Listen to the interview with Dr. Nick Holmes on BBC’s The Newsroom at 14:30.

Featured photo: Dr. Nick Holmes and Anacapa Island

About Emily Heber

Emily is a recent graduate from UC Santa Barbara with a BS in Zoology. As a student, she discovered that she had a passion for the conservation of endangered species and their ecosystems. Her background in informal education has allowed her the opportunity to share her passion for animals with others, something she seeks to continue doing while working with the communication team. In her spare time, Emily enjoys exploring the amazing hiking trails found in Santa Cruz and tries to SCUBA dive whenever possible. Emily is excited to join the Island Conservation team and to help share the amazing work that is being done here.

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