What is Episode 89 all about?
It’s summertime here in the northern hemisphere and you or someone you know probably took a beach vacation to an island off of the coast of somewhere beautiful, to quote a little-known country star named Kenny Chesney. We daydream about islands, travel to islands, write songs about islands, and hope and pray to one day live on an island. Although islands only account for about 5% of the Earth’s total land mass, they are some of the most biodiverse regions on the planet and are home to about 40% of all threatened vertebrate species. In addition, about 61% of the Earth’s extinction events since the 1500s have occurred on islands. This begs the question – what is going on with our incredibly biodiverse islands? Why are they having such a hard time? And, most importantly, how do we halt and eventually reverse the damage that’s been caused over the past 700 years?
To teach us all about conserving and restoring our islands, today we are sitting down with Dena Spatz, PhD, David Will and Nick Holmes, PhD – the three leading scientists on the historic paper that was just released called, “The global contribution of invasive vertebrate eradication as a key island restoration tool”. In this massively important paper, these scientists synthesized over 100 years of invasive vertebrate eradications from islands and found that this type of intervention had an 88% success rate. Yes, an 88% success rate! It’s rare that anything in conservation can give such a clear path forward.
Dena, Dave, Nick, and I chat about a wide range of topics including the history behind our islands’ decline, what’s all involved in island conservation interventions including eradication and restoration, how they created the novel database that’s at the center of their historic paper, how to prevent future invasions from opportunistic species, and how we all can help save our islands.
Alright, friends. Without further adieu, here is my conversation with Dena, Dave, and Nick.
Listen to this episode.
Watch this episode on YouTube.
Dave, Dena, & Nick in the Field
Links & Resources
Articles Mentioned in the Show
- “The global contribution of invasive vertebrate eradication as a key island restoration tool”
- “Invasive mammal eradication on islands results in substantial conservation gains”
- “Globally threatened vertebrates on islands with invasive species”
- The Database of Island Invasive Species Eradications
- Seabird Restoration Database
- Threatened Island Biodiversity Database
- Trends in invasive alien species vertebrate eradications [BIP]
- Island Conservation The Research is Clear: To Prevent Extinctions, Restore Islands – Island Conservation
- Altmetric – Invasive mammal eradication on islands results in substantial conservation gains
- Review of ‘The Song of the Dodo’ | Arts & Culture| Smithsonian Magazine
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