Island Conservation Honored with Department of Interior Partners in Conservation Award

Press Release For Immediate Release

Contact: Amy Carter,(831) 359-4787 ext. 104, amy.carter@islandconservation.org

(Washington, DC–May 7, 2009) Interior Secretary Ken Salazar today awarded the Partners in Conservation Award to Island Conservation (IC) and other organizations for their contributions to restoring Rat Island in the Aleutian Archipelago, part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.

“We are honored to be a part of the group receiving this award,” said Bill Waldman, Island Conservation’s Executive Director. “We look forward to continuing work with our partners to ensure Rat Island becomes again a home to thriving bird populations.”

This cooperative project – instituted by a partnership among Island Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and with assistance from the US Geological Survey – is carrying out the largest island rat eradication in the North America and the first of its kind in the Aleutians. The goal is to restore biological diversity to Rat Island in the remote regions of the Aleutian Islands archipelago. The Norway rat, an introduced predator, had changed the island’s biological community composition. As a result of this successful conservation partnership, Rat Island will again provide a habitat in which native fish and wildlife species can flourish.

According to Stacey Buckelew, Island Conservation’s Rat Island Project Manager, “Restoring this natural habitat in Alaska will benefit at least 26 species of breeding birds, including 13 species of seabirds.”

Island Conservation’s mission is to prevent extinctions by removing invasive species from islands. Island Conservation prevents extinctions by working where the concentration of both biodiversity and species extinction is greatest – islands – and by removing one of the greatest threats to the continued existence of plant and animal species there – introduced invasive vertebrates. Once damaging invasive species are removed from islands, native species and island ecosystems can recover with little or no additional intervention.

Discover more about the Rat Island Restoration project and read on about our partnership at www.seabirdrestoration.org.

About Island Conservation

Island Conservation prevents extinctions by removing invasive species from islands. To date, we have successfully restored 64 islands worldwide, benefiting 1195 populations of 487 species and subspecies. Working together with local communities, government management agencies, and conservation organizations, we select islands that have the greatest potential for preventing the extinction of globally threatened species.

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