GOOD NEWS • The Barren Island That Came Back From The Dead

Oct 18 – When guano mining operations on Redonda ceased around the start of the first world war, they left behind a legacy of rats and goats. Over the successive decades, the rats and goats stripped Redonda of its vegetation. Then in 2016, conservationists began removing the rats and goats to restore the island. They first used a rodenticide to eliminate the rats while not harming other biodiversity. Then, they captured and transported the small population of goats by helicopter off the island. Once these invasive animals were gone, Redonda transformed faster than anyone could have imagined. Native trees and grasses sprouted back. Seabirds like brown boobies (Sula leucogaster) and red-billed tropicbirds (Phaethon aethereus) recolonized the island. According to conservation experts working to restore Redonda, the population of the critically endangered and endemic Redonda ground dragon (Ameiva atrata) has increased 13-fold since 2017. More INFO.