Lehua Island is Finally Free of Rats! - Wild InSights
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Lehua Island is Finally Free of Rats!

Lehua Island is Finally Free of Rats!

Decade-long effort to rid Lehua Island, Hawai’i of invasive rats confirmed a success, securing the island as a safe haven for threatened and endangered Hawaiian seabirds.

Rat eradication has been a game-changer for the ecosystem, bringing about a multitude of positive outcomes for the seabird populations. The impact has been truly remarkable, positioning these species on a path of thriving and rejuvenation.

By directly addressing the challenge of rat predation, seabird eggs and chicks are now shielded from harm. The safety of adult birds has significantly improved as well, ensuring they can feed their chicks without the constant threat of rat attacks. This encouraging change has led to a surge in seabird numbers, reinforcing the growth of their population.

Moreover, the indirect benefits of rat eradication cannot be overlooked. The restoration of seabird habitats has triggered an impressive resurgence in native vegetation, creating a flourishing environment that supports their nesting and feeding requirements. The eradication efforts have also reduced competition for food resources, enabling seabirds to thrive and fulfill their ecological roles more effectively.

The positive impact of rat eradication on the ecosystem and seabird populations is truly inspiring. With careful monitoring and ongoing management practices, we can continue to witness the incredible transformation of these habitats, ensuring a bright and prosperous future for seabirds and the diverse array of species that depend on them.

invasive rat

After extensive on-island monitoring, we’re 99.99% certain there are no more rats on Lehua, which builds on the successful removal of invasive herbivorous rabbits, and secures a future for Hawai’i’s wildlife and ecosystems”

Sheri S. Mann, Kaua‘i branch manager, DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW)

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