Individual study: A successful Pacific rat Rattus exulans eradication on tropical Reiono Island (Tetiaroa Atoll, French Polynesia) despite low baiting rates
Samaniego A., Griffiths R., Gronwald M., Murphy F., Le Rohellec M., Oppel S., Meyer J-Y. & Russell J. C. (2020) A successful Pacific rat Rattus exulans eradication on tropical Reiono Island (Tetiaroa Atoll, French Polynesia) despite low baiting rates. Conservation Evidence, 17, 12-13
We successfully eradicated rats from Reiono Island despite reducing the interval between bait applications from the recommended 10-21 days to 7 days, and reducing bait availability from the recommended >4 nights, to 2 nights. We focused on meeting the eradication principle of exposing all rats to poison bait by ensuring complete bait coverage across the island. Relative to current practice our approach saved 3,032 kg of bait and 168 person-days of labour on a 22-ha island, or US$42,626 in bait and accommodation costs. In line with other recent cases, the Reiono eradication suggests that using moderate baiting rates and short baiting intervals can lead to significant financial and logistical savings. Yet, baiting strategies should be tailored to the risk environment of each project.