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The Tristan Times - Tristan da Cunha
The online newspaper of Tristan da Cunha
  Issue No. 573 Online Edition Wednesday 22 October 2014 
Home | Categories | Conservation Please tell us what you think of this article. Tell a friend Print Friendly

Tristan : Tristan - An RSPB Success Story
Submitted by Tristan Times (Juanita Brock) 08.01.2010 (Current Article)

For the past few years, the RSPB under the South Atlantic Invasive Species project has provided poison and bait boxes, to be placed around the settlement and patches area. In all more than 300 bait stations have been check regularly every fortnight and refilled.

 
RSPB a success story

 

 Antarctic Tern

For the past few years, the RSPB under the South Atlantic Invasive Species project has provided poison and bait boxes, to be placed around the settlement and patches area.  In all more than 300 bait stations have been check regularly every fortnight and refilled.

 

The islanders have commented that they have seen very few if any mice within their boundaries in the settlement area, and in their tool sheds and huts at the patches, for the first time in years their seed for the following year have not been nibble or eaten by rats. 

 

Antarctic Tern Chick

During the Christmas holidays, many families have been camping at the patches, to enable the children to spend time at Runaway beach and go fishing. 

 

Two days ago an Antarctic Tern and chick was seen nesting in a wall at the patches, this is the first time that people can remember such an incident. This has cause much excitement, all the children have shown an interest, and been persuading their parents to visit the site. 

 

Many Tristanians suspects/knows, that the Terns nest on the Hardies (stacks off flat rocks), and under the hill piece where rats are not known to breed, being surrounded by water.  Therefore the only explanation is the success of the bait boxes around the walls of the potato patches, has kept the numbers of rats down enough to allowed some breeding success.  This one was found just be chance and we are hoping that there may be many more in other areas. It also raises the question, if there was a rat eradication or bait stations placed in areas where Petrels and Thrushes etc, are know to breed, what a positive impact it could have.

 

Express gratitude must go to RSPB for their assistance, the islanders are seeing the benefits and appreciate the ongoing support.

 

 

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