Rats Be Gone
Eradication successful on Mokapu.
Partnership to Protect Hawaii’s Native Species News Release
Ever wondered what happened to all the rats on Mokapu? They aren’t there any more! The Partnership to Protect Hawaii’s Native Species (PPHNS) held a meeting Thursday at the Kulana `Oiwi to update the Molokai community on successful aerial rat eradication project conducted about two years ago on the island of Mokapu, an uninhabited island off the Molokai coast.
The eradication of rats from Mokapu in February 2008 was a major step forward for island conservation in Hawaii. It was the first such project in the state in which an island-wide aerial application of the rodenticide diphacinone was attempted. The members of the project team wanted to update the Molokai community because of their initial support of the project.
“We could not have done the project as effectively, and perhaps not been able to do it all, if we hadn’t received help from the native Hawaiian leaders, environmentalists and others in the Molokai community,” said project leader Christy Martin. “The success of the Mokapu project is largely because of them.”
Over the last two years, biologists have monitored the effects of the project and were pleased to report to the community that Mokapu is rat free. Native plants and birds have shown remarkable recovery due to the eradication of rats. Eradication was completed through aerial application of pellets from a helicopter. In this method, the amount of pellets per square meter can be controlled.
The Molokai presentation was also used to launch the Partnership to Protect Hawaii’s Native Species Web site, and community members who attended the meeting were the first to view it. The site can be found at www.removeratsrestorehawaii.org.