Unlike dead organisms, dead ecosystems can be brought back to life. That has happened at Palmyra.
In 2011, Island Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy partnered together to remove invasive rats from Palmyra. The island’s native populations were struggling until invasive rats were completely eradicated. Since then, the island continues to show signs of recovery.
Populations of two land crab species, so depressed by rats they hadn’t been previously observed, are now regularly seen. Seedlings that sprouted a few weeks after the last rat died now tower over managers’ heads. These and other healthy plants provide shelter or cover for at least 10 breeding seabird species, including the planet’s second largest colony of red-footed boobies. Researchers report dramatic increases in sooty terns, white terns, black noddies, brown noddies, and white-tailed tropicbirds. And recolonization of wedge-tailed shearwaters, blue noddies and gray-backed terns appears imminent.
Click here to read about the spectacular recovery starting to take place on Palmyra in this great article by Ted Williams!
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