Seabird Recovery Project

The eradication of rats from Lundy

Lundy’s seabird populations have declined in recent history and it has been the Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus and the emblematic Puffin Fratercula arctica that have fared the worst. The Seabird Recovery Project was set up to improve conditions on Lundy for these burrow-nesting birds with the aim of increasing their numbers and breeding success.

Rats are a known predator for burrow-nesting birds and the main task of the project was to eradicate rats from Lundy. The eradication program ran from November 2002 to March 2004. Over 2000 bait stations placed in a 50-m grid that covered the entire island.

The final bait-take was recorded in February 2004, further monitoring continued throughout 2005 with no evidence of rats and in 2006 a final check of the whole island confirmed Lundy’s rat-free status.

Quarantine measures were drawn up to reduce the risk of rat re-colonisation; along with contingency procedures should a rat be detected. Lundy will always have the threat of rat re-colonisation and staff and visitors should always remain vigilant to ensure that we remain rat-free to safeguard our burrow-nesting seabirds. 

The full report can be viewed here.

Click here for Seabird Survey History

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Copyright Lundy MCZ 2019