UK Rodent Eradication Best Practice Toolkit

The spread of invasive non-native species presents one of the greatest threats to biodiversity globally: invasive species are the primary driver of biodiversity loss on islands and the second largest everywhere else (CBD ; Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005). Many of the UK’s island ecosystems have been damaged by the arrival and establishment of invasive non-native species. Introduced predators have caused particularly catastrophic damage to many species of waders and seabirds, undoubtedly causing numerous extirpations as well as contributing to ongoing declines(Stanbury et al. 2017). Removing invasive vertebrates from islands is an important conservation tool to protect and restore island ecosystems and to prevent further declines and losses of native species.

The UK Rodent Eradication Best Practice Toolkit is intended as an advisory resource, providing a systematic approach for planning and implementing rodent eradications and biosecurity in the UK. It provides technical advice on specific methods to be used in the UK, as well as an eradication project management framework which is applicable to projects everywhere.

This Best Practice Toolkit has been compiled, and contributed to, by several UK governmental and non-governmental organisations involved in island restoration, these being: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), GB Non-Native Species Secretariat (GB NNSS), Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), National Trust, National Trust for Scotland, Natural England, Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) and the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust. The Toolkit has also received input from Wildlife Management International Ltd (WMIL), and draws heavily from the documentation produced by WMIL for various rat eradication projects undertaken in the UK.

The use of the UK Rodent Eradication Best Practice Toolkit aims to give UK organisations and practitioners the ability to embark on invasive rodent management projects with greater confidence of achieving the desired island restoration goals.

For more information or to provide feedback on this resource, please contact Sophie Thomas .

Acknowledgements

The Toolkit is based on the New Zealand Department of Conservation’s Best Practice for rat eradication – bait station (Broome et al. 2011) and the Pacific Invasives Initiative Resource Kits (http://pacificinvasivesinitiative.org/rce/), and has been adapted for use in the UK. The Island Eradication Advisory Group (IEAG), of New Zealand Department for Conservation, provided invaluable feedback on this resource. The Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) http://www.thinkwildlife.org/crru-code/ reviewed and provided feedback on Annex 5 of the guidance documents. We are extremely grateful to these organisations for their input and for allowing us to adapt their resources to the UK context.

Contents

The UK Rodent Eradication Best Practice Toolkit consists of (1) guidance documents for all stages of the project process plus(2) templates for key project development documents. The toolkitprovides guidance on eradication and biosecurity for invasive non-native rodents, but not actions to further promote wider island restoration or ecosystem recovery. It currently does not provide advice on eradication/ biosecurity for other invasive non-native vertebrates aside from invasive rodent species.

The toolkit has been developed specifically for the UK context; however this can be adapted for other projects across Europe and outside Europe.

Download the full toolkit here or individual elements below.

1. Guidance documents

The guidance documents providing technical advice for each stage of the project process:

COVER PAGE / SUMMARY OF THE TOOLKIT

MANUAL - UK BEST PRACTICE FOR RODENT ERADICATIONS

ANNEX 1 ERADICATION TECHNIQUES IN THE UK

ANNEX 2 RAT TRAPPING AND DNA SAMPLING

ANNEX 3 RODENT SURVEILLANCE AND IDENTIFICATION

ANNEX 4 BIOSECURITY PLANNING AND INCURSION RESPONSE

ANNEX 5 RODENTICIDES

ANNEX 6 LOGISTICS AND EQUIPMENT

2. Project development templates

These templates for eight important documents provide a starting point and cover all the vital information required at that stage of the project development. Additional important documents are listed, but currently do not have templates available:

FEASIBILITY STUDY    Worked example of the FEASIBILITY STUDY

PROJECT PLAN

OPERATIONAL PLAN    Worked example of the OPERATIONAL PLAN

BIOSECURITY PLAN    Worked example of the BIOSECURITY PLAN

MONITORING AND EVALUATION PLAN  

ERADICATION READINESS CHECK

OPERATIONAL REVIEW

BIOSECURITY CHECKLIST

Communications Strategy

Fundraising Strategy

Risk Register

Health & Safety Plan

Technical Report

References and additional resources

Broome, K.G., Brown, D, Cox, A., Cromarty, P., McClelland, P., Golding, C., Griffiths, R. & Bell, P. 2011: Current Agreed Best Practice for Rat Eradication ⎯ poison bait in bait stations (Version 1.3). New Zealand Department of Conservation internal document DOCDM-839096. Department of Conservation, Wellington, New Zealand.

Convention on Biological Diversity: Island Biodiversity. https://www.cbd.int/island/default.shtml

DIISE, 2015: The Database of Island Invasive Species Eradications, developed by Island Conservation, Coastal Conservation Action Laboratory UCSC, IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group, University of Auckland and Landcare Research New Zealand. http://diise.islandconservation.org.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. 2005. Ecosystems and human well-being: synthesis (PDF). Washington, DC: Island Press. ISBN 1-59726-040-1.

Pacific Invasives Initiative http://www.pacificinvasivesinitiative.org/

Stanbury, A., Thomas, S., Aegerter, J., Brown, A., Bullock, D., Eaton, M., Lock, L., Luxmoore, R., Roy, S., Whitaker, S. and Oppel, S., 2017. Prioritising islands in the United Kingdom and crown dependencies for the eradication of invasive alien vertebrates and rodent biosecurity. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 63(1), p.31.

Wildlife Management International http://www.wmil.co.nz/
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