Wednesday, January 31, 2007

MIC supports rat eradication project in Pohnpei

Located a few miles from Pohnpei, Ahnd Atoll is one of FSM’s Priority Action Areas and Pohnpei’s top marine area of biological significance. The atoll is home to 13 species of reptiles (including the hawksbill and green turtles), 25 bird species, 7 mammals, several species of land crabs, and hundreds of marine species, but its terrestrial biodiversity is threatened by two invasive rat species. The Conservation Society of Pohnpei (CSP) in partnership with Island Conservation (IC), and the Pacific Invasives Initiative (PII) has developed a plan to eradicate rats from Ahnd Atoll. From January 24 to February 26, 2007, CSP and IC will initiate the Ahnd Atoll eradication project by conducting a trial eradication on 5 small islands in Pohnpei to test and perfect rat eradication methods that will later be used for the Ahnd Atoll rat eradication. Conservationists from Kosrae, Yap, Guam, Fiji, Samoa, New Caledonia, and Tahiti will join the CSP-IC team to conduct the trial eradication.
The project’s unveiling ceremony took place in Pohnpei on January 24, 2007. The project is funded by a grant from the Australian Government’s Regional National Heritage Programme (RNHP), and is supported by several agencies and organizations, including the Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT), the Pacific Invasives Learning Network (PILN), Pohnpei Invasive Species Taskforce (PIST), The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Micronesians in Island Conservation (MIC).

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