Years of service: 26
Their story: Island Conservation began as an idea shared by UCSC professors Don Croll and Bernie Tershy after witnessing the impacts of invasive species on islands in Mexico first-hand while conducting their seabird research. These humble beginnings grew into a network of conservationists in 1994 and became an international non-profit organization in 1997. Today, Island Conservation is on the front lines of the extinction crisis with our mission is to prevent extinctions by removing invasive species from islands. They work together with local communities, government management agencies, and conservation organizations on islands with the greatest potential for preventing the extinction of globally threatened species. They develop comprehensive and humane plans for the removal of invasive species, implement the removal of invasive species; and conduct research to better understand how invasive species removal changes and benefits island ecosystems and to inform future conservation action. Since its founding in 1994, Island Conservation and partners have successfully restored 64 islands worldwide, benefiting 1195 populations of 487 species and subspecies.
Fundraising focus: Island Conservation and its partners launched a campaign to support the restoration of Tetiaroa Atoll in French Polynesia. The group of 12 small islands is home for a wide array of seabirds, serves as nesting habitat for Endangered Green Sea Turtles, and is surrounded by one of the most well-preserved coral reefs in the Pacific. The presence of invasive rats pose a critical threat to wildlife and the native ecosystem, but their removal would enable the local ecosystem to recovery, animals to flourish, and they expect it will make the coral reef more resilient to climate change. Visit www.BirdsToReef.org to learn more.
“Invasive species removal has applications that extend beyond recovery of island plants and animals — contributing to climate resilience of coral reefs and sustainable development for island communities through increased food security, improved human health, and support of economic development.”