Birds are Returning to Hawadax, Previously “Rat” Island

Say goodbye to what was once called “Rat Island.” Native birds are reclaiming Hawadax Island as their own, thanks to the removal of invasive species in 2008 by Island Conservation, USFWS Alaska, and The Nature Conservancy.

Bird species that were absent prior to rat eradication but now found on Hawadax include tufted puffins, song sparrows and snow buntings, the study said. There were no puffin burrows in 2008; in 2013, the scientists found six.

 Marc Romano USFWS Tufted Puffin
Tufted Puffin. Photo by Marc Romano/USFWS

The return of native birds to the island is a superb outcome of arduous conservation efforts. The results are promising for current and future projects; invasive species removal gives native plants and animals a chance to rebound and flourish, and the results are simply beautiful all around.

Hello Hawadax!

Hawadax Island from water. Photo: Rory Stansbury/Island Conservation

Hawadax Island from water. Photo: Rory Stansbury/Island Conservation

You can read more about the recovery on Hawadax Island here!

Feature photo by Poppy Benson.

About Sara Kaiser

Sara received a BA in anthropology from UC Santa Cruz in 2014. As a freelance writer and editor, she seeks to produce and highlight stories that support ecological responsibility, body awareness, emotional intelligence, and creative action, and reveal the connections between them.

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