In Lundy, the largest Island in the Bristol Channel in Island of Great Britain they were the scourge of seabirds searching out to nest. However, since the rats were expunged from the Island and the Island was declared rats free, the seabirds population has tripled to about 21000 birds now.
As per the research by RSPB, i.e., the Royal Society for the Protection of Bird’s, the population of Puffins has increased from 13 birds in 2001 to 375 and on the other hand population of Manx shearwaters, has also risen from 297 pairs to about 5504.
It was between 2002 and 2004 the non-native rats were wiped out owing to the project opposed by several animal rights groups who argued that conservationists were supporting tourist friendly birds over the rats. In 2006 laundry was declared as rat free and its seabirds population that bounces back.
Senior conservation officer for RSPB, Helen Booker supposed ‘the study confirms that how quickly as well as positively seabirds respond to the removal of non-native predators. Yes, of course, we had an estimated major population increases at the time when the project was launched; however, the recovery chance has far exceeded our expectations.’
In 2003 the project to eradicate the rats was launched in 2003 by the Landmark Trust, Natural England, the National trust as well as RSPB, as rats posed the biggest threats to the survival of birds.
Dean Jones, Lundy warden, supposed ‘it is exciting to see the level of recovery in Manx shearwaters which are considered as our most important seabirds. In spring time the Island comes alive at night owing to the sound of these amazing birds. The fats increment in the population of puffins, razorbills as well as guillemots is also very much encouraging for the future of seabirds on Lundy Island. We are also preserving our vigilance to ensure rats should never return to the Island.’
Rodents were actually not native to the Island Lundy and were accidently brought over on boats. Thus RSPB supposed that this is a major problem, and tackling this problem is needed. However, rats predate the eggs as well as young of seabirds, especially some ground-nesting animals counting puffins as to plunder their nests is very much easy task.
Many measures were taken to make the Island, and they also succeeded in doing that. Some measures include encouraging oat owners to specifically check their boats, baggage as well as cargo and also for day trippers to check their bags. They also warn them to keep any kind of food stuff in animal-proof containers so that rats should not enter the Island again.
UK is considered as an abode to an estimated 8 million breeding seabirds, with up to half of the EU populations of seabirds breeding here.