Funds urgently required to travel to Suwarrow to eradicate a remnant rat population impacting our birds, before they spread to other islands
Te Ipukarea Society (TIS) is a proactive non-government environment organisation (NGO) in the Cook Islands, formed in 1996 to help look after our heritage.
One of our key areas of work is in invasive species. Our main focus at the moment is a rat eradication project in Suwarrow Atoll, the Cook Islands’ first and only National Park and acknowledged globally as an important bird area.
We have worked for a number of years on this, culminating in a 2018 campaign which we hoped would be the end of the rats on Suwarrow. However, on a monitoring trip earlier this year, we found there was a remnant population of rats remaining on one of the small islets around Suwarrow's lagoon. This islet is home to breeding seabirds, including red tailed tropic birds, booby birds, and frigate birds.
We believe it is urgent to deal with this rat population as soon as possible, as they are prolific breeders and numbers will increase exponentially in a short time. They will then likely spread to adjacent islets, affecting more vulnerable bird nesting sites.
This means we need to travel north to Suwarrow as soon as the cyclone season is over, in May 2022. We have obtained costings for materials and transport on the Cook Islands traditional voyaging canoe, Marumaru Atua, to take a team to Suwarrow to do the work for 2 weeks. This is the most cost effective means of transport and also has a very small carbon footprint. Now we just need the money!
MORE ABOUT US
TIS is a collective of individuals who desire a sustainable, healthy and beautiful environment. We are members of IUCN and Birdlife International. We have among our staff and membership well-respected scientists and active campaigners for environmental sustainability. TIS is managed by a voluntary committee who are elected by members, as per our constitution, at our Annual General Meeting. A small number of paid staff, assisted by volunteers, attend the day-to-day running of the Society
The money will be used to allow us to travel to Suwarrow on the traditional voyaging vaka Marumaru Atua and remove the last remnant rat population which is impacting our seabird colonies in our national park.
Update on the Suwarrow RAT campaign 31 March 2022
We are making slow but sure progress on the fundraising. BirdLife International have promised NZ$15,000 to the cause. We also have received NZ$5,000 from the Cook Islands National Environment Service. Together with the NZ5,000 raised so far from this Givealittle page, and the approximately $5,000 from direct donations to our office and the $5 from each of our TIS water bottle sales, we are sitting on $30,000 raised so far. This is fantastic, but still $20,000 short of our needs. Thank you so much to all of you for your donations. Please do share this page with your friends, and get the word out far and wide.