Ascension : Ascension Island Conservation Department
Submitted by The Islander (Conservation Office) 06.05.2010 (Article Archived on 20.05.2010)
Approximately 75 participants from 18 countries and territories and 26 national, regional and international organisations attended the workshop
Invasive Species Conference. 11-16th April 2010. Auckland, New Zealand. By Olivia Renshaw
‘A workshop on regional action to combat invasive alien species on Islands to preserve biodiversity and adapt to climate change’
Approximately 75 participants from 18 countries and territories and 26 national, regional and international organisations attended the workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to identify and strengthen mechanisms that enable effective and sustainable invasive alien species (IAS) management for islands.
There are over 180,000 islands covering the full range of habitats known in the world. They only cover 5% of the world’s surface, yet they are home to almost half the endangered species and 70-95% of the extinction in terrestrial systems. Most of these extinctions were directly caused or facilitated by invasive species. Information on the impact of invasive species on island marine and freshwater systems is not well documented. Shipping if potentially a significant spread of marine IAS through ballast water.
Participants at the conference shared their successes and experiences in the implementation of invasive species management. Overall actions were identified critical to helping islands combat invasive species and adapt to climate change:
· Increased coordination and action on IAS across key sectors through national, regional and global networks.
· Engagement of public and private sector leaders to champion IAS management on Islands.
· Building public support through effective communication of the impacts of IAS on islands.
· Improvement of biosecurity systems.
· Increased funding and capacity to implement IAS activities.
As part of the conference the participants were given the opportunity to visit Rangitoto Island in the Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf. This field trip focussed on a recent Department of Conservation pest eradication operation. The trip provided an opportunity to learn from lessons experienced during a recent pest eradication operation, close to New Zealand’s largest city centre.
Please be alert to land crabs on roads. This time of year is their spawning season. Many crabs will be carrying their eggs, making their way down to the beaches to lay eggs.
Volunteers welcome. Please contact:
Ascension Island Conservation Department. Georgetown. Tel: 6359. Email: email@example.com