The Acteon & Gambier Island Restoration Operation has begun in the South Pacific.
As you read this, Steve Cranwell – BirdLife International Invasive Species expert in the Pacific, and logistical guru – is over 1500km from Tahiti, on an incredibly remote and uninhabited atoll in the Acteon & Gambier archipelagos, French Polynesia.
These islands are all vital for our global efforts to conserve Critically Endangered bird species Polynesian Ground-dove Alopecoenas erythropterus, which are facing extinction because of non-native species (introduced by humans) such as rats, which eat their eggs and young. Removing these invaders is the immediate priority to save the native birds, other wildlife and restore the delicate ecological balance of the islands.
Assisted by SOP Manu (BirdLife in French Polynesia), Island Conservation, Pacific Invasives Initiative and New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, many tonnes of equipment have already been shipped to these remote islands, bringing a helicopter and team of 30 personnel to begin some of the most ambitious island restoration work the world has ever seen.