Ten years after removing nonnative rats the ecosystem on Anacapa Island, including rare seabirds, is showing profound results of recovery.
Ashy storm-petrels are nesting on the island for the first time ever recorded and Cassin’s auklets have expanded their territories in the absence of rats as predators. Significantly, the number of Scripps’s murrelets nests has quadrupled with a 50 percent increase of eggs hatched.
Rats are known to have negative impacts to island ecosystems. Rats are the most significant cause of bird extinctions on islands and are estimated to be responsible for half of bird and reptile extinctions worldwide.
Island Conservation North America Regional Director Gregg Howald said, “Nowhere are the threats of extinction higher than on islands, and nowhere do we have greater opportunities to save species at risk. This successful project demonstrates the value of this critical conservation tool for other islands around the globe.”
Scientists from the National Park Service, University of California at Santa Cruz, California Institute of Environmental Studies, and Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans and Island Conservation will publish a report on the results of this noteworthy conservation effort later this year.
To view this film on Youtube, click here: http://youtu.be/RDJgMt19GRI
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