We are delighted to invite you to the next ERI External Seminar entitled “Island Restoration in the South Pacific: The Story of Henderson Island.” The seminar will be on the 2nd of November at 17:30. To view the seminar poster, please click here.
Dr Alex Bond is a Senior Conservation Scientist at the RSPB, where he leads on island restoration research in the UK Overseas Territories, including Pitcairn, Tristan da Cunha, and Gough Island.
In this seminar he will discuss restoration attempts on Henderson Island. Henderson Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Pitcairn Islands of the South Pacific Ocean, and home to five endemic birds. During Polynesian settlement, Pacific rats (Rattus exulans) were introduced to the island, and have negative effects on the native biota. In 2011, the RSPB conducted an eradication operation using aerially broadcast cereal bait pellets, which was subsequently found to have been unsuccessful. Four years later, we spent 6 months on Henderson to understand the effects of this failed conservation intervention, and to better understand the ecology of both the rats, endemic birds, and plant communities. While the ultimate cause of failure in 2011 will never be known, improvements in international best practices for eradications on tropical islands, combined with the knowledge gained in 2015 will hopefully improve our chances of success in any future eradication attempt.
Doors open at 17:15 – all ERI Seminars are free and open to all. Light refreshments will be available.