Conservation initiative to safeguarding island ecosystems

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Adapting pest control expertise and products to even the most challenging environments is central to Envu’s philosophy: And they don’t come more challenging than this; as Envu embark on a comprehensive island rat eradication project using a Cholecalciferol-based rodenticide.

By utilising the unique advantages of Harmonix Rodent Paste, Envu said it is helping to protect the environmentally sensitive island of St Helen’s, while ensuring breeding grounds remain productive for the rare bird species that depend on this unique location that is part of the archipelago of the Isles of Scilly.

A vital breeding ground for seabirds including Razorbills, Guillemots and Fulmars, the island is also home to growing numbers of Manx Shearwaters and a small colony of Puffins. But, in recent years numbers have declined as nests, chicks and even adult birds themselves fall prey to Rattus Norvegicus – the common rat.

Richard Faulkner, Envu’s national account manager and technical manager for UK & Ireland, said: “The ground nesting bird population on St Helen’s has experienced a decline in population of almost 20% in the last five years. The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust and RSPB have both said that the removal of rats will help ground nesting bird populations, and have called for more action to enhance, preserve and restore habitats.”

To preserve the breeding ground, the goal is to eradicate the common rat population from the island while ensuring no detrimental effect to the environment or non-target species. In turn, this will prevent the predation of the eggs and chicks of ground nesting bird populations, helping to restore, enhance and protect the seabirds and their habitat.”

Understanding the environment and unique challenges of the sensitive site has meant exceptional care in selecting products and delivery methods aligned with the goal of conservation and habitat protection.

Plans were made in collaboration with the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust and RSPB and visits to the island made by Richard and Envu UK & Ireland’s head of marketing Tim Peeling.

Richard continued: “We anticipate that the treatment plan will run to the end of Feb / beginning of March 2024. The project will start with a monitoring phase to assess the rat population and later the monitoring product will be replaced with Cholecalciferol-based Harmonix Rodent Paste, which is the best option for use in open areas and is a product that’s not bioaccumulative, meaning there’s no risk to non-target species.

“This is a fantastic opportunity both for me personally and as a member of the Envu team, to support and be a part of an environmental conservation project to protect our native wildlife. Envu is dedicated to advancing healthy environments for everyone, everywhere.”

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About Author

With more than 25 years' experience in business-to-business publishing, Simon is editor of LBM titles Pest and OvertheCounter. Big fan of Manchester United.