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Lord Howe Island (series)
At last: Lord Howe Island rodent eradication program approved

Nicholas Carlile, from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, charts how rodents will finally be removed from the Australia’s offshore Lord Howe Island. About 500km off Port Macquarie in the Tasman Sea and discovered by James Cook, the first people on the island were in May 1788, filling their ships with turtles and birds and fresh water on their way to Norfolk Island. The first rodents to arrive were house mice. The ship (black rat) rat arrived through the careening of the Mikabo, that hit rocks and its stores from Sydney were offloaded - including black rats. The rats flourished and destroyed the native Lord Howe phasmid and nine species of bush birds. Some seabirds only successfully breed now on the outer islands where there were no rats. Agricultural attempts to produce commercial crops have been decimated by rats and mice. In 2001-2002 the NSW National Parks and Wildlife (now Heritage) undertook developing an effective plan for rodent eradication of rodents. These were the only remaining feral pests left after removal of goats, pigs and cats. The eradication could not disrupt tourism or impact humans or human health and so it is based on the method pioneered by New Zealanders almost 30 years earlier and had eradicated rodents from more than 300 islands. The program will start on the 1st June 2018 and by the 22nd there should be no surviving rodents. 100 tons of rubbish have already been removed from the island and the ground baiting and hand baiting will cover all settlement areas, including every shed, roof cavity and sub-floor. The baiting is deliberately planned for winter when food resources are quite poor. It will take two years of monitoring to prove the $9 million eradication a success.
The Wood-feeding Cockroach another black rat casualty

Unlike introduced cockroaches that infest houses, these endemic species remain in the wild. They will not only provide a good meal for the woodhen but also, more importantly, condition the soils within the forests here, increasing native species resilliance to disturbance from alien plants and stocastic events such as wind storms and drought. So restoring the ecological balance is important.
Back from the Dead: Lord Howe Island Phasmids

Balls Pyramid: a forbidding rock spire rising from the ocean turned out to be an island sanctuary - habitat for the sole surviving Lord Howe Island Phasmids.
Currawongs - the lions of Lord Howe

Plans to rid the island of rats and mice could put these native birds at risk from secondary poisoning. Nicholas Carlile describes the careful research and planning for the proposed capture and rerelease of these birds during the active eradication phase.
The rat race – recovering island ecology

Lord Howe Island was isolated for six million years. Birds flourished, as did turtles and a great array of indigenous, unique invertebrates (including the Lord Howe Phasmid), because of the absence of land predators. Then the black rat was introduced by white settlers. Nicholas Carlile talks about Lord Howe Island and the fight to return the island’s ecology to its former glory.
How(e) to win the rat race - recovering island ecology

Nicholas Carlile explains the plan to eradicate rats and mice from Lord Howe Island. He says that even though some of the destruction cannot be reversed, there is an opportunity to tip the balance back in favour of native species on the island.
A Glowing Report - Lord Howe rodent eradication update

Over the years human habitation has done a lot of damage due to introduced rats, mice, goats and pigs. As well as loss of vegetation, nine species of endemic birds have been wiped out. Five endemic bird species still remain, including woodhens and the Lord Howe Currawong. A recent trial baiting program showcased the importance of gathering scientific data before any widespread baiting.
 

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