Many species affected by ferals can survive, and sometimes thrive, on islands. Other animals that live or breed on islands can be put at risk through an invasive species taking up residence. The Australian Government's Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts has recently asked our Cooperative Research Centre to increase the communications between those with an interest in island conservation work: the islandNet Newsletter is a first step.
The first edition of the islandNet Newsletter is now available and contains a wealth of information about projects going on in many parts of the world. If you are interested in subcribing to this free quarterly newsletter, drop Dr. Elaine Murphy an email (email@example.com).
A lot is happening in relation to islands. The NSW government has been busy getting rid of the black rat on MuttonBird Island off Coffs Harbour and from Bowen Island in Jervis Bay (amongst others). They are building expertise ahead of the effort next year to rid World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island of black rats and mice. I visited Lord Howe last year on holiday and talked to many of the locals about the eradication program (see previous post). It's not just the technical feasibility of an island eradication campaign that is difficult - in the case of an inhabited island like Lord Howe, there are a few people with safety concerns amongst the locals. All the locals I spoke to last year were highly enthusiastic, mind you.
The newsletter contains updates on work on Macquarie, Faure and the Pheonix Islands. Each of these programs are conducted by people with differing backgrounds (private or public for example) and under vastly differing conditions. The islandNet program is designed to increase the level of communication, and hopefully success, from these type of ambitious conservation programs.
If you'd like to access the newsletter, or view the new (embryonic but growing) website, click here.