Fijian seabird isles to be ‘de-ratted’


This video shows footage of Malolo Lai Lai coral reef in Fiji, with dolphins.

From BirdLife:

Fijian seabird isles to be “de-ratted”

25-10-2007

Invasive predators such as cats and rats are to be eradicated from some of Fiji’s most important seabird islands, as part of a project undertaken by BirdLife International’s Fiji programme, with the support of landowners, and funding from the David & Lucille Packard Foundation.

The Ringgold Isles, a remote archipelago forming an outlier group to Vanua Levu (the northernmost of Fiji’s two main islands), are mostly uninhabited, and their relative isolation should make them a safe haven for seabirds like the Black Noddy Anous minutus and Red-footed Booby Sula sula. …

“The large seabird populations include many thousand Gogo (Black and Brown Noddy Anous stolidus), and hundreds of Toro (Brown Sula leucogaster and Red-footed Booby) and Manumanu ni cagi (Lesser Frigatebird Fregata ariel).” Also present were Masked Booby Sula dactylatra, Black-naped Tern Sterna sumatrana and White-tern Gygis alba.

The islands were found to support good populations of invertebrates such as coconut crabs Birgus latro, which have been extirpated from most of the islands in Fiji. They are also foraging and nesting sites for endangered sea turtles and native lizards. The cryptic and elusive Fiji Banded Iguana, an Endangered species, may also occur on some of the Ringgold Isles. Many of these species are believed to be affected by rat predation and are also expected to benefit when the rats are removed (as has been demonstrated elsewhere).

Two years after the BirdLife International Fiji Programme implemented an operation to eradicate rats from the Ringgold Islands, all seven islands have been confirmed rodent-free. Early monitoring also shows that the birds, people and wider wildlife of these remote islands are already benefitting from the removal of these invasive pests: here.

A partnership between BirdLife International and the Nagilogilo Clan of Vatuira has resulted in the successful eradication of Pacific Rats Rattus exulans from this internationally important seabird colony. Vatuira – a small island located 15 km from the coast of Fiji’s largest island Viti Levu – is an Important Bird Area (IBA) for several seabird species, including 28,000 breeding pairs of Black Noddies Anous minutus; see here.

De-ratting the Hebrides: here.

Fiji petrel: here.

This is the final blog documenting an 8-day marine expedition to Fiji. Totoya Sacred Reef Declared Marine Protected Area for World Oceans Day: here.

3 thoughts on “Fijian seabird isles to be ‘de-ratted’

  1. Coconut crabs on Green Island at extinction level

    11/10/2008 (Taipei Times)
    The existence of coconut crabs on Green Island is under threat despite strenuous efforts over the past two years to rehabilitate them, experts said on Sunday.

    They said that with the increase of business activities on the island, the number of coconut crabs has decreased rapidly, dwindling to around 80 in the latest census three years ago.

    They attributed the dramatic decrease in the number of crabs to the impact of tourism, the accidental killing of the crabs by motorcycles — a major form of transportation on the island — and people catching the crabs for different purposes.

    The Biodiversity Research Center at Academia Sinica in a census three years ago estimated that only around 80 coconut crabs were left on the island.

    Since then, the researchers, the Coast Guard and local historical and cultural academics have adopted various protection measures, educational research and ecotourism approaches to try to rehabilitate the coconut crab population.

    The experts said that with the rapid development of tourism, a large number of development projects has destroyed the habitats of the crabs, and the flood of tourists has also had an impact on the existence of the species.

    To deal with the problem of the crabs being accidentally run over by motorcyclists, the experts built an “ecological corridor” around the Green Island lighthouse three years ago in a bid to keep tourists at a distance from the crabs, but the results have not been significant.

    The coconut crab, or birgus latro, gets its name from its ability to crack coconuts with its strong pincers in order to eat the fruit. The crab is the only species of the genus birgus.

    The crabs were once populous on Green Island, located 33 kilometers off Taitung.

    http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2008/11/10/2003428261

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  2. Fiji Petrel Fatality – Just as a NatureFiji-MareqetiViti project gears up to work on the Critically Endangered Fiji Petrel Pseudobulweria macgillivrayi, a grounded bird was recently found on the remote island of Gau. Unfortunatly the adult female petrel did not survive. The bird constitutes the world’s fourth specimen and underlines the urgency of initiating conservation action on the ground. The Fiji Petrel was ‘rediscovered’ in 1984 and its breeding grounds in the rugged highlands of Gau are still unknown. NatureFiji-MareqetiViti are currently seeking the services of an enthusiastic and energetic volunteer to help in their conservation work. Interested people should contact Dick Watling at: watling@naturefiji.org

    http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2009/02/news_bytes_feb09_2.html

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  3. Pingback: Save Aruba island wildlife, petition | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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