Virtual Tours: Pitcairn Islands
The Full Tour
Features of Natural Interest
Features of Other Interest, including Cultural
Threats / Problems / Issues
Projects / Conservation Actions
Organisations and Links
Tour Selection
Threats / Problems / Issues

Predation by rats are a particular problem, on Pitcairn and Henderson. Modelling indicates that petrel numbers have dropped from a possible 5 million pairs before rats were introduced to just 40,000 pairs today, and the Henderson petrel is threatened with global extinction. Other species are also being affected seriously, with rats predating on - and competing with - Henderson's endemic land-bird species, snails, insects and flora, as well as on the hatchlings of the nesting green turtle population. A successful rat eradication programme exterminated rats on Oeno and Ducie, resulting in healthy breeding bird populations on these atolls.

Dead Pacific rat on Pitcairn; this species was probably brought to the islands by the early Polynesian inhabitants as a food source.

© Dr Mike Pienkowski
(Threats / Problems / Issues, 2 of 6 - Slide ref. 476)