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AK MARITIME: Invasive Rodent Program Shifts Into High Gear in 2004
Alaska Region, November 17, 2004
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In 2004 Alaska Maritime Refuge's invasive rodent program expanded tremendously. In February, more than 100 people participated in a planning and training meeting organized at the Refuge's new Alaska Islands and Ocean Center headquarters in Homer. The group included experts from New Zealand, Canada, Hawaii, California, and Colorado. Alaskan participants included employees of the FWS, other agencies, NGOs and members of the public from the Pribilof Islands, Unalaska, and elsewhere. The goals of the meeting were to evaluate the Refuge's invasive rodent plan, to train people on shipwreck response and land-based rodent introduction prevention, and develop strategies to elevate recognition of rodent problems to Alaska-wide, national, and international levels. As a result of input from participants, the direction for the Refuge program was refined to include: 1) expansion of the successful land-based prevention program in the Pribilofs to other coastal communities, 2) expansion of the shipwreck response strike force, 3) outreach to coastal communities and ships about how to be rodent free, 4) continued evaluation of the impacts of rats on the large auklet colony on Kiska Island including determining if rat control is necessary, 5) research on rodenticide efficacy, non-target issues, delivery methods, and impacts of rats on intertidal communities and native birds on small islands near Adak, 6) securing registration for appropriate rodenticides, and 7) detailed planning including preparation of an Environmental Assessment for restoring native biodiversity by removing rats from larger islands. Progress was made on all fronts in 2004.

Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov



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