Island Conservation’s Science Director in Newsweek

The first of its kind, a global study measuring how invasive species eradication benefits biodiversity was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and recently covered by Newsweek. A team of thirty scientists, including Nick Holmes, Director of Science at Island Conservation, found that “596 populations of 236 native species on 181 islands benefited from 251 eradications.” The results are promising for the future of conservation and biodiversity.

“We have overwhelming, demonstrable evidence that this conservation intervention works to protect and restore vulnerable native island species…but [the paper] is also a call to action…. We know of thousands more islands with endangered and threatened species that are at risk of invasive species.”

Takahe. Photo: Holly Jones. Five populations of the world's largest rail, the Takahe, benefited from mammal removal in New Zealand.

Takahe. Photo: Holly Jones. Five populations of the world’s largest rail, the Takahe, benefited from mammal removal in New Zealand.

The study indicates that invasive species eradication offers major potential conservation gains at relatively low financial investment. Eradication is a successful conservation strategy because it does more than alleviate the threats posed by invasive species–it eliminates them entirely. Once an island is free of invasive species, its native wildlife can thrive.

About Island Conservation

Island Conservation prevents extinctions by removing invasive species from islands. To date, we have successfully restored 60 islands worldwide, benefiting 1090 populations of 399 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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