Invasive rats have been finally eradicated on 2 Galapagos Islands after a rodent eradication program started on two Galapagos islands two years ago. Conservationists have declared the lands free of rats. This goal was achieved as a result of a drone partnership.
This big achievement will help to ensure that native biodiversity can now continue on the island ecosystems. Mosquera and Seymour Norte islands have been negatively impacted by the presence of these invasive rats.
For example, Seymour Norte is home to a large number of big frigatebirds. These invasive rats feed on the eggs and babies of frigatebirds for a long time. Galapagos National Park officials partnered with Island Conservation, a non-profit group, to eliminate these rats from the two islands in 2019. They employed the service of drone pilots from Envicto Technologies to achieve this groundbreaking mission.
The drone used a dispersal bucket and was directed by a GPS-guided transects to spread a bait across the island. The bait which was produced by Bell Laboratories, is positioned along the coastline to ensure zero invasion of rodents on the island.
After two years of waiting, this project has given the expected results, according to the planning and according to the highest protocols for these cases. Galapagos, once again, is a benchmark in terms of the protection of this globally important ecosystem.Danny Rueda, director of the Galapagos
In order to prevent future invasion on the island, 289 bait stations will be installed, however, it will still be safe for tourists. This is the first time a drone would be used to get rid of invasive rats on an island. According to conservationists, the Mosquera and Seymour Norte Islands served as a proof-of-concept.