Loosiep is an uninhabited island that once hosted thriving seabird colonies and one of five islands that make up Micronesia’s largest Green Sea Turtle nesting site.
Today, Loosiep is devoid of seabird nests. Instead, invasive rats, monitor lizards, and feral pigs cover the island—digging up and devouring sea turtle eggs and crops.
In 2019, Island Conservation worked with the local community to rid Loosiep of feral pigs, initiate baseline ecological monitoring, and begin evaluating strategies for the removal of monitor lizards. This will be the world’s first removal of monitor lizards and lessons learned can be applied to future invasive reptile eradications.
Restoring Loosiep and removing invasive vertebrates from other important turtle nesting islands will serve as a stepping stone for the restoration of Ulithi Atoll on a broader scale, ensuring protection for seabirds, sea turtles, coral reefs, and the livelihoods of the community for generations to come.