A project to eradicate rats from Big Green Island in Tasmania’s north has been declared a success, having reached the key milestone of two years without detection of rats on the island. Rigorous monitoring over the last two years has reinforced the rat free status, complying with the internationally-recognised standard for declaring a successful eradication.
The project has been a collaboration of community conservation efforts, involving the Parks and Wildlife Service, Biosecurity Tasmania, the Pennicott Foundation, Wildcare Inc volunteers, the Aboriginal community and the island's lessee. The success of this collaboration is a result of persistence and dedication by all involved and has resulted in increased protection for the island’s biodiversity values.
Big Green Island will now be placed on the Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) global database of Islands Eradicated of Pests.The eradication will have long-lasting positive benefits for seabirds and the island’s ecosystem, protecting important natural and agricultural values.
Big Green Island is a 125 hectare island located six kilometres south-west of Whitemark off the coast of Flinders Island. It is a nature reserve with significant colonies of Cape Barren geese, shorebirds and seabirds. It is estimated there were in excess of 10,000 black rats on the island prior to eradication.