Located 33 miles north of Tahiti, Tetiaroa consists of a ring of 12 islets surrounding a turquoise lagoon. One of the islets, known as “Bird Island,” is classified as an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International. The atoll is recognized as a Hope Spot and is considered one of the most pristine marine environments in the South Pacific due to limited human activity.

WHY IS TETIAROA ATOLL IMPORTANT?

  • Home to healthy and ecologically important coral reefs.
  • The largest nesting site for Green Sea Turtles in the Windward Society Islands.
  • One of the most important seabird breeding sites in all of French Polynesia

THE PROBLEM

Islands represent a disproportionate amount of plant and animal diversity for their size and are the epicenter of the extinction crisis, with invasive species now the primary threat. Tetiaroa supports thousands of nesting seabirds, including four IUCN locally threatened species making it one of the key seabird breeding sites within French Polynesia. The atoll is also a major nesting site for Green Sea Turtles.

The presence of two invasive rat species threatens the atoll’s flora and fauna. Rats feed on the seeds and seedlings of native vegetation and prey on nesting seabirds, Green Sea Turtles hatchlings, and land crabs. The once-thriving seabird population has been significantly reduced by rat predation, impacting both terrestrial and marine ecosystems due to decreased nutrient inputs through guano.

THE SOLUTION

Following the successful removal of invasive rats from Tetiaroa’s Reiono Island in 2018, Tetiaroa Society, Island Conservation, and partners are now working together to remove invasive rats from the entire atoll to secure habitat for native birds and Green Sea Turtles. The partners are also researching the effects of invasive rat removal on Tetiaroa’s terrestrial and marine environments to inform coral reef conservation efforts that may be underinvesting in island restoration as a conservation tool.

THE RESULTS

Restoring balance for terrestrial ecosystems will protect endangered native birds and turtles and enhance the resilience of surrounding coral reefs, making them more resistant to the impacts of climate change. Additionally, restoration is expected to benefit reef fish populations, ensuring food security for local peoples who are intimately connected to healthy coral reefs both economically and culturally. Removing rats also eliminates reservoirs and vectors of several human diseases bringing significant benefits for island communities.

PROJECT'S STATUS

Baseline monitoring of native species is underway while the partners are seeking the funding necessary to support the removal of invasive rats and the collection and analysis of data. Tetiaroa Society, Island Conservation, and our partners hope to implement the project over 2020 and 2021.

Near-pristine coral reef.

Potential site for translocation of endangered, endemic birds.

A stable population of locally threatened Coconut Crab.

TETIAROA UPDATES

A gift to Island Conservation in your estate plan will build a legacy and assure a future in which island species thrive. By including Island Conservation in your will, your estate may receive significant tax savings. A designated sum or a certain percentage of a residuary estate can be donated or consider making Island Conservation a full or partial beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k) or other qualified retirement plan.  If you choose to provide for Island Conservation in your estate plans, please contact the development manager at giving@islandconservation.org or 831-359-4787.

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Gifts of long-term appreciated stock are an easy way to provide crucial support to Island Conservation and increase your giving. Benefits may include: income tax and capital gain tax savings. Consult your financial advisor on the potential benefits.

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The Pension Protection Act of 2006 gives those at least 70½ years of age the opportunity to make tax-free charitable gifts, including the minimum required distribution.

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Donating real estate to Island Conservation may give you a tax deduction on the fair market value of the real estate and help you avoid the capital gains tax you may incur if you were to sell the property.

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Your current/former employer may double or triple your generous contribution to Island Conservation.

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Celebrate special events or the memory of a special person in your life by making an honorary gift. Please make sure to include the honoree’s name when you make your donation.

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Midway Atoll conservation

 

 

 

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