Lord Howe Island was declared rat-free in 2019, but the celebration was premature. The recent presence of about 100 rats has led conservationists to wonder if these intruders are survivors or newcomers to the island, which is A UNESCO World Heritage Site In different homes Endangered species.
Last April, a local woman said Stains A rat near Neds Beach Cemetery. This marks the first time since 2019 that a rat has been spotted anywhere on Lord Howe Island, It is located 485 miles (781 km) northeast of Sydney, Australia. A subsequent investigation resulted in the capture Two rats: a teenage male and a pregnant female.
But as The Guardian it was just the beginning Report. A total of 97 black rats have been caught and killed this year, raising concerns Controversial, $ 12.75 million Rat eradication program (REP) did not actually work, or at least not to the expected degree. Officials are now trying to find out if the rats are left over from the original population or if the new population has somehow taken root on the island.
A Approximate At the beginning of the eradication program, 150,000 rats and 210,000 rats lived on the island. Lots of rats for an island measuring just 5.62 square miles (14.55 square kilometers). It is so small that a maximum of 400 tourists are allowed on the island at any one time.
Rats were brought here by ship in the mid-19th century, when in 1918 a ship sank off the coast was blamed for the introduction of rats. These There are raiders Has caused extensive damage to the island’s ecosystem, leading to the extinction of five bird species and 13 invertebrate species, while another 70 species are under threat. According to In the Sydney Morning Herald.
Per Eradicate Annoying rats and mice, REP officials placed 22,000 toxic food grains in a locking trap. The helicopter then dropped a deadly bait (44 tons of it, according to The Guardian). A region of New South Wales, in inaccessible places to protect the people of the island. A detector dog pulled out the last remaining rat in 2019, or so it seemed.
About 100 rats have been found since April Inspired Several new arrangements, including the strategic installation of 250 motion-detecting cameras and the deployment of teams with specially trained dogs from New South Wales and New Zealand. Encouragingly, no rats have been seen on the island since the first week of August. Newly discovered rats are being genetically tested to determine their origin, with results expected by the end of this year. The Guardian reported.
Should no more rats be detected, the program could be transferred to a preventive biosecurity system. But tryDespite recent visits, it seems to be working.
Indeed, are native animals Rebounding On the island, with a significant increase in the number of endangered Lord Howe Island timber. The other animals are ready to make a comeback Included Carmadec petrol, masked booby and White belly storm patrol with ground snails And various ground lizards. Plants, including critically endangered small mountain palms, are also expected to be revived. Excitingly, plans are afoot to reintroduce the world’s rarest insects Lord Howe Island Fasmid– On the island. These giant flightless insects can measure more than 4.7 inches (12 cm) in length.
But it assumes that the rats are really gone. Time will tell, along with the persistent efforts of Lord Howe to keep the island rat-free.