Scaling Up in Island Conservation: Research and Lessons Learned

New publication features research by Island Conservation and partners on lessons learned in conservation.

In 2017, at the third Island Invasives Conference, held in Dundee, Scotland, Island Conservation staff and experts in the field of invasive species management came together to discuss the successes, failures, and lessons learned from restoration. Island Conservation staff members gave a number of talks to discuss past projects and the future of restoration.  

At the conference, Island Conservation GIS and Data Program Manager David Will presented on lessons learned from the restoration project carried out at Desecheo National Wildlife Refuge, Puerto Rico in 2012. The team unsuccessfully attempted to remove invasive black rats. Four years later, Island Conservation and partners returned and utilizing best wildlife management practices, successfully removed invasive rats. Further, a case study presented by Island Conservation’s Richard Griffiths gave a talk demonstrating a comparative review between four successful invasive rat removal projects and four unsuccessful removals and the lessons learned for future conservation efforts.

Atoll Fruit Dove on French Polynesia. Credit: Island Conservation

A recent publication of these and other case studies demonstrate the tremendous strides in wildlife management which include an increase in operational size, global reach, and land area. In recent decades land size of islands where we are capable of removing invasive species has increased from a few hectares to over 100,000. This also means that a greater diversity of species is being saved from extinction. With all of these advances, comes a higher cost which is why donating to wildlife conservation and management organizations is crucial to help prevent extinctions.

Source: IUCN
Featured Photo: Aerial view of Isla Desecheo, Puerto Rico Credit: Island Conservation

About Stephanie Dittrich

Stephanie Dittrich is a current senior in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz and a transfer student from De Anza College. She is also currently pursuing a Certificate of Achievement in Geospatial Technologies and a second Associates Degree in Graphic Design from Foothill College. She has worked in multiple marketing and design focused roles at environmental nonprofits as well as the Genomics Institute at UC Santa Cruz. She just finished spending 3 months in Costa Rica conducting field work where she did an independent research project and wrote a scientific paper about flight response time in the Morpho peleides butterfly. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys working on creative photography and design projects, often centered around wildlife photography, as well as more experimental and contemporary subject matter.

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Midway Atoll conservation




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