|After centuries of damage to native birds and plant species from introduced invasive Norway rats, the Service, Island Conservation and The Nature Conservancy removed the rats from Hawadax Island (once known as Rat Island). Photo by Island Conservation
Do you know one of the most effective ways to prevent extinctions or Endangered Species listings? Removing invasive alien species from islands! And recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Island Conservation strengthened a partnership to do just that. The Service’s Assistant Director for International Affairs, Bryan Arroyo, and Island Conservation’s North American Regional Director, Gregg Howald, have more:
Forty percent of our world’s plants and animals, thousands of them threatened with extinction, rely on just 5 percent of the Earth’s surface area, islands. Unfortunately, the natural balance of more than 90 percent of our world’s islands are disrupted due to damaging, non-native invasive species.
Of the 245 recorded animal extinctions since 1500, 80 percent were on islands and invasive species were responsible for the majority of them.
The good news is that the removal of invasive species from islands is one of the most effective interventions for saving imperiled species and restoring island ecosystems. This has successfully been done thousands of times; and some of the most important island restoration projects were done through partnerships involving the Service and Island Conservation.