Murchison and Faraday Islands, once highly productive seabird colonies and important cultural resources, have been devastated by introduced, invasive rats. Parks Canada and the Haida Nation on Wednesday announced that these important ecosystems are rat-free in a report to Canadian, American and Mexican conservation biologists at the Tri-Lateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation Management annual general meeting in Ottawa, Ontario.
Since the completion of rat eradication work in 2013, signs of ecological recovery have become evident on many of Gwaii Haanas’ rat-free islands. One example is the increased number of nests and successful chick-rearing by Black Oystercatchers – a species that acts as a sentinel for changes in coastal ecosystem health.
Kil tlaats ‘gaa Peter Lantin, President of the Haida Nation, said: “Restoring balance to ecosystems on Haida Gwaii is part of the important work going on in Gwaii Haanas. Rats are disruptive on many levels and successfully removing them from these two islands assures us that the island’s ecosystems will recover to their natural state. This success is a fine example of the governments of the Haida Nation and Canada working together to ensure that Gwaii Haanas is cared for in a way our ancestors would expect.”