VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
It was reported today in New Zealand that during an authorised cull of overly abundant pukekos on Motutapu Island reserve four critically endangered and somewhat closely appearing takahe were also shot. Anyone choosing to kill a target, whether for hunting or pest control, or any other reason, must always act in the most responsible way possible, as the taking of another individual’s life should never be done lightly.
Without island biosecurity pests will rapidly recolonize islands from which they have been eradicated, or worse still colonise islands for the first time. Only with a rigorous audited biosecurity programme can pest-free status be maintained.
Colleagues from Mexico have just announced the successful eradication of introduced mammals from the massive Banco Chinchorro reef complex off the Yucatan peninsula. Mexico has aggressively tackled the problem of invasive species eradication on islands over the past decade.
This weekend the New Zealand Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society had their 92nd Annual General Meeting in Wellington.
Eradicating rodents from islands is only half the battle. After eradication, it is vital to protect the investment by preventing rodents re-establishing. Conservation dogs are an additional monitoring tool.
In 2013 the National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration funded our expedition to Subantarctic Antipodes Island. Winter in the Subantarctic is a short film (2015) recorded on that expedition.
New Zealand was one of the last places on earth to be colonised by humans, just over 1000 years ago. Ever since, New Zealand has lived the legacy of these impacts.
Life on the Auckland Islands is hard. Just ask the settlers of Hardwicke who in 1849 were part of the shortest lived British settlement ever – 2 years and 9 months. The Maori only lasted 10 more years themselves.
Having just returned from Fernando de Noronha the plight of tropical islands under attack from invasive species is still at the forefront of my thoughts. Can the techniques we have developed in temperate latitudes on uninhabited islands be applied so readily to inhabited tropical islands?
The bird species that have lived on Fernando de Noronha for millions of years have new predators to battle: introduced cats, rats, and a three-foot Brazilian lizard. Can they survive?
Invasive cats, rats, and lizards are wreaking havoc on the native species of Fernando de Noronha. How did they all get here?
The last twenty-four hours on Fernando de Noronha have been non-stop, non-sleep, and action filled, and not just because it’s been Carnival in Brazil.
When studying invasive species on a remote island, it helps to know the island’s history. And this one’s good.
As we watch the sunset from a rocky promenade, a rodent known in Brazil as mocó, darts around, and I realize the islands must have many surprises in store for me.
After 16 hours of flying, I’m keen for a shower. Unfortunately for me, but much more so for the rest of São Paulo, the city is falling in to the grip of its worst drought since 1930.