Introduced mammal eradications for nature conservation on Western Australian islands: A review

There are about 3400 islands off the Western Australian coast, many of which have high nature conservation values. Eleven species of introduced mammals occur or occurred on 124 islands, including three domestic animals (horse, camel and sheep) that have not become feral. In addition, Aborigines introduced dingoes to at least four islands before European settlement. Six exotic mammals (red fox, feral cat, goat, rabbit, black rat and house mouse) have now been eradicated from more than 45 islands in a series of projects since the 1960s. Most effort has been directed at black rats with more than 31 islands now clear of the species. Pindone, vacuum-impregnated into oats, was used until the 1990s, when bran pellets with brodifacoum were used in the Montebello Islands. Rabbits have been eradicated using carrots soaked in sodium monofluoroacetate (1080), red foxes with dried meat baits impregnated with 1080 and cats with a combination of baiting and trapping. After a period of 20 years of ground shooting, goats were finally eradicated from Barrow Island four times after introductions in food and equipment, and from Varanus and adjacent islands after introduction in food containers. Both islands are utilised by the petroleum industry. Difficulties and how they were overcome, and future eradication priorities, are discussed.

Author Burbidge, A. A. and Morris, K. D.
Year 2002
Secondary title International Conference on Eradication of Island Invasives
Publisher IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group
Region WA