Many eradications of mammal taxa have been accomplished on United States associated islands of the Central Pacific, beginning in 1910. Commonly eradicated species are rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), rats (Rattus spp.), feral cats (Felis catus), and several feral ungulates from smaller islands and fenced natural areas on larger Hawaiian Islands. Vegetation and avifauna have demonstrated dramatic recovery as a direct result of eradications. Techniques of worldwide significance, including the Judas goat method, were refined during these actions. The land area from which ungulates have been eradicated on large Hawaiian Islands is now greater than the total land area of some smaller Hawaiian Islands. Large multi-tenure islands present the greatest challenge to eradication because of conflicting societal interests regarding introduced mammals, mainly sustained-yield hunting. The difficulty of preventing reinvasion poses a persistent threat after eradication, particularly for feral pigs (Sus scrofa) on multi-tenure islands. Larger areas and more challenging species are now under consideration for eradication. The recovery of endangered Hawaiian birds may depend on the creation of large predator-proof exclosures on some of the larger islands. Large scale eradications of small Indian mongooses (Herpestes auropunctatus) would be beneficial to ground-nesting birds such as nēnē (Branta sandvicensis), but this has been achieved only in small exclosures.
|Title||The history of mammal eradications in Hawai`i and the United States associated islands of the Central Pacific|
|Authors||S.C. Hess, J.D. Jacobi|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center|