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Conservation biologist Dr. James Russell works throughout the world on remote islands and other sites to provide conservation solutions by applying a combination of scientific methods. In 2015 he is working on a Scientist without Frontiers programme in Brazil. For his work in island conservation he was awarded a 2014 Rutherford Discovery Fellowship, the 2012 New Zealand Prime Minister's Emerging Scientist prize and a 2011 Chinese Academy of Sciences Young International Scientist Fellowship.

Follow James on National Geographic blogs for regular updates on his own work or other exciting developments in island conservation.

Invasive Mouse Attacks Increasing on Southern Ocean Islands

I have just returned from the second World Seabird Conference #WSC2 held in Cape Town, South Africa at the end of October. The conference held by the World Seabird Union was a great opportunity to learn all about the recent research and conservation being undertaken on these incredible animals.

First Breeding Record of Tropical Shearwater in Amirantes

Just before leaving the Seychelles I had the opportunity to visit Desroches, a sandy coral atoll cay in the outer islands – very different to the inner granitic islands. Desroches is managed by Island Development Company (IDC) and contains a 5-star hotel and a conservation center and team from the Island Conservation Society (ICS).

The Real Tropical Island Experience on Aride

Aride Island is the wildlife highlight of a visit to the Inner Granitics of the Seychelles, with more bird species than any other island. Ten species of seabird are found on this tiny 68 hectare island.

The Curious History of Curieuse Island, Seychelles

Curieuse Island in the Seychelles is steeped in all kinds of history. Lying just a kilometre off the coast of Praslin this 286 hectare island lies in its own marine national park and is named after the French ship La Curieuse, which arrived along with the ship La Digue

Touring Wildlife by Bicycle on La Digue, Seychelles

La Digue is the laid-back island of the Seychelles. At just over 1,000 hectares and full of postcard beaches around every corner, its possible to travel around the entire island in one day – and the mode of choice is the bicycle.

Resorting to Conservation on North Island, Seychelles

As I continue my journey through the Seychelles I visit North Island, or Île du Nord, touted as the most expensive luxury island resort in the world. The island was actually purchased in 1997 specifically to restore the ecosystem, and this work is made possible by the resort.

Wedge-Tailed Shearwaters Recolonise Ste Anne Island

Sainte Anne is a 219 hectare island lying just off four kilometres from the coast of Mahé, Seychelles. It is the largest island of the Ste Anne Marine National Park and was originally discovered on Saint Anne’s Day in 1742. It was subsequently the first of the Seychelles islands to be settled by the French before they took up residency on Mahé.

Expedition: Granitic Seychelles

I have just landed on Mahé Island, the main island of the Seychelles, where I will be spending the next two and a half weeks working with the Island Biodiversity & Conservation centre of the University of Seychelles, the NGO Island Conservation Society, and exploring the grantic islands of the Inner Seychelles. The Seychelles and New Zealand share a history of similar island conservation trajectories.

A Brief History of Norfolk Island

Although it’s the biodiversity that brings me to some of the most remote islands of the planet, the inhabited islands always have as rich a cultural history, equally at risk in this modernised world of mobility. Norfolk Island is no exception. There have been four distinct settlement phases of Norfolk Island.

Flora & Fauna of Norfolk Island

Because of the great success in rat control across the island, its actually very hard to find a rat when you want one on Norfolk Island. Long-standing citizen Beryl Evans came to the rescue with a litter of rats she removed from her house. Beryl is also the most recently published scientist on Norfolk Island with her lifetime’s work tagging Tasman boobies (Sula dactylatra tasmani) in the latest issue of the journal Corella.

To Catch a Rat on Norfolk Island

Norfolk Island is an external territory of Australia, currently governed by its own general assembly. Norfolk Island is the last island around New Zealand from which we need a genetic sample of the invasive rats to complete our phylogeographic map of invasive rats around New Zealand and neighbouring islands.

Four Critically Endangered Takahe Killed in New Zealand Cull

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.

Biosecurity Protects Islands

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.

Eradication of Rats from Banco Chinchorro Confirmed

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.

Forest and Bird, and Bats and Weta, and Marine Reserves

This weekend the New Zealand Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society had their 92nd Annual General Meeting in Wellington.