Island Conservation and Birdlife International Form Partnership to Tackle Pacific Pests

Agreement signed to protect native biodiversity of Pacific islands by removing invasive species.

Two international conservation groups – Island Conservation and BirdLife International – have signed an agreement in Fiji this week to help protect the native birds and biodiversity of Pacific islands from invasive species.

Rats, feral cats and mongoose are among many introduced species responsible for the decline and extinction of numerous Pacific Island birds and other wildlife, such as Fiji’s unique native iguanas.

The two NGOs bring enormous experience the task. The BirdLife Pacific Partnership has been working to address this problem by eradicating introduced predators from islands in Fiji, New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Palau. Island Conservation has completed pest eradications from over fifty islands across the globe and has recently expanded its operations in the Pacific.

“This is good news for the Pacific Island countries for it strengthens our ability to address the threats that invasive species pose to native birds throughout the region, many of whom are facing extinction,” said Mr. Don Stewart, Regional Director of BirdLife International.

Dr. Ray Nias, Island Conservation’s Pacific Regional Director, added that “although islands only occupy 5% of the world’s land surface, they have seen 80% of the world’s extinctions and are home to 40% of all critically endangered animals. It is therefore a privilege for us to join forces with Birdlife International to help prevent the extinction of Pacific island species threatened by invasive pests.”

Island Conservation is a California-based non-government organization that has focused its operations on small islands around the world to protect native animals from extinction by the removal of invasive pest species.

BirdLife International is a global partnership of conservation organizations that works with people to protect birds, and their habitats through sustainable use of natural resources.  It has been operating as a regional office in Fiji since 2003.

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