Commend Restoration of Balance to Island Ecosystems

Target: Collaboration of Scientists

Goal: Applaud the experts and scientists who restored the ecosystem of Anacapa Island by removing nonnative rats.

After a decade, successful results are beginning to emerge after the eradication of nonnative rats on the island of Anacapa. Rats have been proven to be the predominant cause of bird extinctions on islands and also account for half of the global reptile and bird extinctions. Commend the scientists and experts who participated in this tremendous project to remove nonnative rats, restoring balance to island ecosystems.

In the early 1900s, nonnative rats were first discovered on Anacapa Island. The rat’s ravenous hunger began threatening the fragile breeding habitats of rare seabirds. An estimated 70 percent of the eggs belonging to the state-listed threatened species, Scripps’s Murrelet, were being consumed by the rats at a concerning rate. Other species that the rats feasted on included insects, plants, intertidal invertebrates, and native deer mice.

This project required extensive planning and conducted the actual removal of the rats in 2001 and 2002. The world’s top scientists and experts from the United States, New Zealand, and Canada collaborated with project partners from Channel Islands National Park, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Island Conservation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Since the removal of the rats, a significant recovery of species has been recognized. The amount of Scripps’s Murrelets’ nests has been reported to have quadrupled, coupled with a 50 percent increase of hatched eggs. Gregg Howald, Island Conservation North America Regional Director, comments on the success of the project stating how threats of extinction are the highest on islands and the achievement of this project can be used as a conservation tool for other islands around the world.

Praise the world’s leading scientists and experts for their tremendous efforts in the eradication of nonnative rats, helping to restore delicate island habitats.


Dear Collaboration of Scientists,

Nonnative black rats have been threatening species populations ever since they were discovered in the early 1900s. Their destructive appetite has brought harm among the breeding grounds of rare sea birds, including the Scripps’s Murrelet.

By participating in this large undertaking, you have helped to restore balance among the delicate ecosystems around the island. Your efforts are proving to be successful as Ashy Storm-Petrels are nesting again on the island for the first time and the Scripps’s Murrelets nests have quadrupled. I commend your outstanding dedication to the restoration the many habitats and diverse species on Anacapa Island.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Constantine via Wikimedia Commons

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