9 Feb 2010

Pacific can improve biosecurity considerably, says scientist

8:02 pm on 9 February 2010

Leaders on the eradication of invasive species say the Pacific has the potential to improve bio-diversity through the prevention, detection and possible eradication of invasive species.

Invasive species are a major threat to islands in particular, with the pacific islands suffering from species like rodents that threaten native wildlife and affect people's livelihoods.

An international conference on the eradication of invasive species is being held at the University of Auckland Tamaki campus.

In some islands up to fifty percent of crops can be lost to rats.

Professor Mick Clout from the centre for biodiversity and bio-security at the university of auckland says the science of getting rid of invasive species is getting better.

"What we're trying to stress is that there are real benefits when dealing with invasive species, you can see quite rapidly, if you manage to get rid of rats from an island, you can see the recovery of sea-bird populations, you can see people's crops not getting damaged, you can see the recovery of a whole eco-system."

Professor Mick Clout says it's now possible to completely get rid of rats even on large islands.