Update on the rodent incursion response
The response to the rodent incursion, which was first initiated on 15 April 2021, continues. The Lord Howe Island Board (LHIB) and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) field crews are working together with rodent control experts undertaking rodent baiting and monitoring in and around the settlement area and on the fringes of the Permanent Park Preserve. The team currently working on the rodent response include specialists from Lord Howe Island, mainland NSW, Tasmania and New Zealand.
Locations where rats have been detected continue to be actively monitored using detection dogs and field teams checking an extensive network of monitoring stations. Additional monitoring and bait stations have been introduced to manage the incursion. This complements the permanent monitoring stations in the settlement area and the Permanent Park Preserve. Despite vigilant monitoring, no rats have been detected in the Permanent Park Preserve. All detections to date have been in the northern settlement area.
The combination of detection, surveillance and removal techniques being used are proving successful. Our Lord Howe Island based dog handlers and detection dogs have been joined by additional dogs from Port Macquarie, Tasmania and New Zealand. These teams have been invaluable in detecting the rats and are integral to planning our response. Detection dog handlers are targeting locations of recent rodent sightings or where monitoring stations indicate recent rodent activity.
Biosecurity is a critical priority for addressing rodent incursions. The LHIB is working closely with freight suppliers to ensure freight deliveries can continue with heightened biosecurity arrangements in place.
The response is likely to be long-term with sustained surveillance effort over the coming months to ensure no rodents from this incursion remain on the island.
What can I do?
You can assist the response by doing the following:
- Collecting all fallen fruit as soon as it has dropped and either eating it or throwing it in the bin
- Cleaning and removing any open compost heaps
- Cleaning and removing as much as possible and food scraps associated with chicken pens
- Quickly reporting any potential rodent sightings to the Lord Howe Island Board.
Thank you to all residents who have reported sightings and assisted the response operations by allowing access to your properties. If you have any concerns with property access or would like to report rodent sign or a sighting, please call 6563 2066 or email the Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.