Galapagos: Rodents no longer threaten North Seymour Island and a neighboring islet

After two years of execution of a rodent eradication plan, the fruits are seen today, reported the National Park of the archipelago

JORGE ALVARADO
Updated 05/13/2021 11:54 AM

A park ranger monitors the results of the plan to remove rats from the island. COURTESY

Two years after developing the rodent eradication program in North Seymour and the Mosquera islet, the Directorate of the Galapagos National Park (PNG) announced that these sites are free of the invasive species.

These conservation actions were carried out since 2019, when the plan for the eradication of invasive vertebrates affecting the biodiversity of the sector and the preservation of ecosystems was launched.

“Through this management, 30 park rangers participated in this work with special equipment, protective clothing, drones and 3D technology, which allowed us to eliminate the black rat (Rattus rattus) and the Norwegian rat (Rattus norvegicus) from North Seymour and Mosquera, “said the Ministry of Environment and Water (MAAE)

Control stations

The MAAE added that after the implementation of the plan, 110 rodenticide bait control stations were installed to monitor the effectiveness, a poison designed by Bell Laboratories, which affects only rodents and not species typical of the archipelago.

Danny Rueda, director of the PNG, indicated that this project “has produced the expected results, according to the planning and according to the highest protocols for these cases. Galapagos, once again, is a benchmark in terms of the protection of this ecosystem of world importance. The impact of this management activity was progressively registered by pertinent, ongoing monitoring.”

Víctor Carrión, manager of the Ecuador Program at Island Conservation, mentioned that in collaboration with the team of experts from the PNG Directorate, strict biosecurity measures were implemented to prevent future reintroductions, as well as the design of plans so that tourists can visit Seymour Norte and Mosquera safely.”

There will be permanent bait

As a long-term preventive measure, a biosecurity barrier consisting of 289 bait stations will remain installed , in order to prevent a reinvasion of rodents from Santa Cruz or Baltra.

Map of the Galapagos with the location of Seymour Island. COURTESY

Profits

The elimination of rodents will allow the ecosystem to recover; endemic and native plants and animals will be able to proceed with their ecological processes, guaranteeing the hatching of nests and survival of the island’s own birds and reptiles such as land iguanas, blue-footed boobies, frigates and forked-tailed gulls (the only nocturnal gull on the planet). It also contributes to protecting the habitat of the lava gull, one of the rarest species in the world, categorized as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Galapagos are a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. It is known as one of the most famous destinations in the world for wildlife viewing. It is made up of thirteen large islands with an area greater than 10 km², nine medium islands with a surface area of ​​1 km² to 10 km² and another 107 islets of small size.

Read the original coverage via Expreso EC at https://www.expreso.ec/actualidad/galapagos-roedores-amenazan-isla-seymour-norte-islote-mosquera-104410.html


Read the official press bulletin from the Ministry of the Environment and Water at https://www.ambiente.gob.ec/los-roedores-ya-no-seran-una-amenaza-para-la-isla-seymour-norte-y-el-islote-mosquera/


Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021

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