St. Eustatius: rat control program
Introduced predators such as cats, dogs, and rats can be found all over St. Eustatius and are a primary threat to the island's biodiversity. Rats, which are not limited to urban areas, can be found all the way up to The Quill and have become an especially challenging issue as they not only threaten the survival of native plant and animal species but also potentially pose a serious health risk to the island’s inhabitants. Thanks to funding from the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs under their Nature Fund initiative, a two-year rodent control project facilitated through the Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute (CNSI), was launched in early 2016 on St. Eustatius.
The goal is to establish a rat control program in key biodiversity and residential areas that will lead to a decrease in density of rats in those areas. The two project leaders are CNSI’s Hannah Madden and Dr. Teresa Leslie from the Eastern Caribbean Public Health Foundation (ECPHF), in close cooperation with St Eustatius National Parks (STENAPA) and the St. Eustatius Public Health Department. From February 2019, the Public Health Department will continue implementing the program to ensure its long-term success.
This news-item was published in BioNews 6-2017.