Palmyra Atoll Restoration Project
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Pacific Reefs National Wildlife Refuge Complex, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, and Island Conservation have embarked upon an ambitious project to aid in the protection and restoration of the unique species and habitats of Palmyra Atoll, initially by removing nonnative rats. Documents related to planning for this effort are below.
The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was prepared in accordance with National Environmental Policy Act requirements. Public input was sought prior to the development of the draft EIS during a public scoping process (January 14 to March 1, 2010). The draft EIS was released for a 45-day public comment period from February 25 through April 11, 2011. During this period 21 comments were received on the Draft EIS from individuals, organizations, and agencies regarding strong support for and strong opposition to rat eradication, threats to nontarget species, the proposed selection of the rodenticide brodifacoum over diphacinone, effects to other operations, and implementation strategies. The comments received and Service responses are presented in the FEIS.
Four alternatives are presented in the FEIS. Alternative A is a no action alternative, and Alternatives B, C, and D, are action alternatives. Alternative C is identified in the FEIS as the Preferred Alternative. In the Preferred Alternative C, the Service proposes distributing brodifacoum and mitigating risks to vulnerable shorebirds. The potential impacts of each alternative were assessed, and, where appropriate, mitigation measures identified to avoid impacts or reduce their magnitude and intensity.
On May 29, 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a Record of Decision (ROD) on the proposal to restore and protect native species and habitats of Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge by eradicating all nonnative rats (Rattus rattus) from the atoll in a manner that minimizes harm to the ecosystem while still maintaining a high probability of success. Through public scoping and with input from various agencies, organizations, and the public, key issues were identified and thoroughly examined in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). Based upon the review of the alternatives and their environmental consequences described in the FEIS, the Service adopted Alternative C, the Preferred Alternative, for implementation because it would achieve the desired outcomes with the least harm to the environment.
Record of Decision - Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge Rat Eradication Project (pdf 781KB) (May 29, 2011)
Environmental Impact Statements
Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (pdf 20MB) (Apr 28, 2011)
The Final EIS is a large file. If you are having difficulty viewing the files in your browser, right click on the file and choose "save target as" - this allows you to save the file to your hard drive for easier viewing. You may also download individual chapters.
Chapter 1- Purpose and Need
Chapter 2 - Alternatives
Chapter 3 - Affected Environment
Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences
Chapter 5 - Consultation and Coordination
Appendix A - Palmyra Atoll rainforest restoration project: rat eradication monitoring plan for all aerial broadcast alternatives (Working-draft)
Appendix B - Palmyra Atoll biosecurity plan: prevention of rodent incursion (Working-draft)
Appendix C - Palmyra Atoll rat eradication assessment trip report 2004
Appendix D - Progress in Palmyra Atoll restoration: rat eradication trial 2005
Appendix E - Palmyra Atoll rat eradication: biomarker validation of an effective bait application rate, 19 June to 5 July, 2008
Appendix F - The ecotoxicology and palatability of two rodenticide bait products: field-based assessment at Palmyra Atoll
Appendix G - Palmyra Atoll rainforest restoration project: rat genetic sampling, detection method testing, and canopy bait testing
Appendix H - Summary of risks & potential mitigation options for bristle-thighed curlews (Numenius tahitiensis) at Palmyra Atoll during a rat eradication campaign
Appendix I - Hermit crab predation by bristle-thighed curlews
Appendix J - Palmyra food web
Appendix K - Draft operational details: Palmyra Atoll Rat Eradication– Alternative C (Preferred Alternative)
Appendix L - Brodifacoum-25w Conservation Label & Supplemental Labeling For Brodifacoum-25w Conservation To Control And Eradicate Black Rats On Palmyra Atoll. U.S. EPA Registration No. 56228-36
Appendix M - Comments Received on Draft EIS and FWS Responses To Comments
Working-draft Operational Plan: Palmyra Atoll Rat Eradication Project – Alternative C (Preferred Alternative) (pdf 2.69 MB) (Apr 28, 2011)
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (pdf 11.8MB) (Feb. 25, 2011)
News Release - Final Environmental Impact Statement For Proposed Palmyra Atoll Restoration Project Available (Apr 29, 2011)
News Release - Public Comments Sought on Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Proposed Palmyra Atoll Restoration Project (Feb. 25, 2011)
Federal Register Notices
Federal Register Notice - Palmyra Final Environmental Impact Statement Notice of Availability (NOA) (Apr 29, 2011)
Federal Register Notice - Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Draft EIS. The NOA initiates the 45 day public comment period, which closes on
April 11, 2011. (Feb. 25, 2011)
Federal Register Notice - Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement and announcement of public scoping. (Jan. 14, 2010)
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