Lord Howe Island Rodent Eradication Plan available for public comment

To: "" <>
Subject: Lord Howe Island Rodent Eradication Plan available for public comment
From: Ian Wilkinson <>
Date: Thu, 29 Oct 2009 14:19:58 +1100
Hi All

The Draft Lord Howe Island Rodent Eradication Plan ('the Plan') provides an 
overview of the proposed eradication programme of house mouse (Mus musculus) 
and ship rat (Rattus rattus) from the Lord Howe Island (LHI) Group of islands. 
The operation proposed aims to eradicate all ship rats and house mice while 
minimising any adverse impacts on the environment, non-target species, humans, 
livestock and pets. The LHI Group, situated 760 km north-east of Sydney, was 
inscribed as a World Heritage Area in 1982, and has global environmental 

Populations of house mouse and ship rat were accidentally introduced to LHI. 
They probably arrived around 1860 and 1918 respectively. Both species have had, 
and continue to have, significant adverse impacts on the biodiversity of the 
island. Ship rats are implicated in the extinction of at least five endemic 
birds, 13 invertebrates and two plant species. Despite the best control efforts 
of the community and the LHI Board over almost 90 years, these exotic rodents 
remain an ongoing threat to at least 13 other bird species, 2 reptiles, 51 
plant species, 12 vegetation communities and numerous threatened invertebrates.

LHI will be the largest, permanently populated island on which the eradication 
of exotic rodents has been attempted. The evidence shows that the best 
long-term solution is to eradicate both rats and mice from the LHI Group in a 
single eradication operation. However, given the island's permanent human 
population, its highly developed tourism industry and its endemic and 
threatened species, considerable planning needs to be carried out before this 
can occur. Many methods were carefully investigated in order to identify the 
method most suited to the LHI Group, including a number of different toxins and 
different means of delivering them, as well as undeveloped and unproven viral 
methods. Tried and tested methods developed and refined during more than 300 
successful eradication programmes on islands around the world will be used to 
distribute poison baits to all parts of the island group, except Balls Pyramid 
and its associated islets, by aerial and hand broadcasting.

Concerns about the method of delivery, interaction with soil and water, impact 
on the marine environment, impact on non-target species and efficacy are 
addressed. A detailed risk assessment is presented which determines the risks 
to the environment (including wildlife, freshwater and marine habitats), 
humans, livestock and pets. Measures to ameliorate any adverse impacts are also 
detailed. These include the establishment of captive populations of a number of 
species including the LH woodhen and LH pied currawong. A detailed research and 
monitoring programme is also presented which details work to be undertaken 
before, during and after the eradication operation.

We invite you to consider this draft Plan and draw on your knowledge and 
experience to provide comments, ideas and suggestions on what is arguably one 
of the most significant management actions that can be undertaken for 
biodiversity and threatened species conservation in Australia.

The plan will be released on Friday 30th October 2009 for 28 days, and can be 
obtained from the DECCW website at following address.

We look forward to your thoughts and comments


Dr Ian Wilkinson
Project Officer lord Howe Island Rodent Eradication
Threatened Fauna Ecology
Terrestrial Biodiversity Science
Department of Environment and Climate Change
Locked Bag 914
NSW 2450
Tel: +61-2-66598271
Mobile: 0407-060621
Fax: +61-2-66516187

This email is intended for the addressee(s) named and may contain confidential 
and/or privileged information.
If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender and then delete 
it immediately.
Any views expressed in this email are those of the individual sender except 
where the sender expressly and with authority states them to be the views of 
the Department of Environment, Climate Change & Water NSW.

To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Lord Howe Island Rodent Eradication Plan available for public comment, Ian Wilkinson <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU