Two international volunteers, Maxime (L) and Thaïs, arrived on Island on 1 May 2022 to prepare a report on the effects of invasive rodents on the Island’s threatened species of fauna and flora, as well as on horticultural crops and human habitations. We offered to sponsor them for 12 months, and propose an environmental program they could undertake which could benefit the Island, as well as improving their experience and skills. They have been ideal guests here, and managed well with English as their second language, exercising the school level French of most of us, only occasionally.
Their previous studies in environmental management (Maxime) and ecology and corporate social responsibility (Thaïs) enabled them to apply for sponsorship by the Ministère de L’Éducation Nationale in the Government of France as part of a Service Civique program to work for the benefits of global society. Thaïs is from Marseilles and Maxime’s home is Blainville sur l’eau in central-inland France. This is their first travel to Australasia and the South-west Pacific (other than a previous short trip to New Zealand by Thaïs).
The project ran until 17 March 2023. The Society hosted the project with the cooperation of Norfolk Island Regional Council and Parks Australia. The volunteers’ project report will appear here after editing.
Rodents are an Island-wide problem on Norfolk Island, cause widespread environmental harm to native plants and animals as well as to agricultural crops. Controlling them is a priority, but some forms of control are more problematic than others. For example, some types of bait can lead to secondary poisoning of our endangered Norfolk Island Morepork owl.
The two volunteers ran a survey to understand how local residents control rodents on their home properties, to aid in developing guidelines to support the community in controlling rodents in the most effective and environmentally safe way. Although the results of this survey have been compiled and summarised and will appear in the final report, any resident who would like to add to the existing knowledge is invited to download a printable copy which can be handed or posted to us. Please do not fill out this form if you are only visiting the Island.
Reports of the Project
More to come.
The volunteers have completed a non-annotated list of References.
Database of Island Invasive Species Eradications (DIISE)
See link to DIISE (http://diise.islandconservation.org). You can filter by target species, quality of data, size of the island, population size (inhabited and uninhabited islands included in database) and many other fields. It’s possible to export the data into a spreadsheet. One minor issue is that it classifies some functionally uninhabited islands like sub-antarctic Macquarie island as having a human population of 11-100 people on account of the research station occupants. So just something to keep in mind when looking at ‘inhabited’ islands.
Social impact assessment
The file linked here is a case study of a social impact assessment for the eradication of invasive mammals (multiple species) on an inhabited NZ island. Note that the authors used an established social impact assessment protocol for this assessment (see page 6). Of particular use may be section 4 (page 9), which is a summary of what was known at the time about predator eradications on inhabited islands.
Russell K.J., Taylor C.N., Balanovic J.X., Aley J.P., Harbrow M.A., Russell J.C. 2017. Predator Free Rakiura Social Impact Assessment. A Report for the Department of Conservation. University of Auckland, Auckland.
Apolima Island Could Provide Model For Rat-free Pacific
This web-paper by SPREP summarises some projects on other Pacific Islands.