Palmerston Rat Eradication Feasibility Study

NZ Department of Conservation (NZDoC) supported by staff from NES, MoA and TIS recently conducted a rat eradication study on the island of Palmerston.

Palmerston Rat Eradication Feasibility Study

A team travelled to Palmerston for a Feasibility study of a planned future rat eradication program, led by New Zealand Department of Conservation (NZDoC) team leader Emmanuel Oyston and colleague Finlay Cox. They were supported by three staff, from MoA, NES and TIS plus two from Palmerston Island. The community requested assistance to eradicate rats, which have been a menace for as long as they can remember, decimating food crops and contaminating water sources.

Some of the team’s objectives were to identify and confirm the type of rat species present, confirm location of rats on the main island and motu’s, how much bait is required to ensure a successful eradication and gauge what support we can get from the community to assist. Although this has been achieved, we still have work to do. The community has been informed of a list of tasks that must be executed in order to increase our chances of success through the assistance of the Island Council and the support of the three resident family lines. We would like to sincerely thank our Palmerston family for your time and efforts in taking care of the team. You have made them feel at home, away from home.

We would also like to acknowledge the crew of Te Kukupa for your outstanding professionalism and hospitality in ensuring we were safe during the voyage. Last but certainly not the least, a big Meitaki Maata to the NZ Government for its funding under Managing Invasive Species for Climate Change Adaptation in the Pacific (MISCCAP), NZ DoC’s Emmanuel & Finlay, and to Veronica Frank & Dr Souad Boudjelas for your endeavoring support.

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The National Environment Service is established to protect, conserve and ensure the Cook Islands environment is managed sustainably. The agency is headed by a Director with delegated powers to carry out the functions of the Environment Act 2003.

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