Rat eradication using aerial baiting. Current agreed best practice used in New Zealand

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Eradication is not control ‘intensified’, it must remove the last individual which means taking individual behaviour into account from the very beginning and the level of resourcing is ‘whatever it takes’.

The New Zealand Department of Conservation Island Eradication Advisory Group advises wildlife managers planning to eradicate rats using the technique of aerial broadcast of rodenticide baits. This knowledge represents the current agreed best practice available at the time of publication and provides a benchmark of rat eradication practice for temperate island ecosystems.

These best practice guidelines are valuable for eradications outside New Zealand but require adaptation to suit other legal, political, social, and environmental situations. The advice presented has been gleaned from some of the largest and most challenging projects worldwide and there is a good track record of success with this method. The continuous improvement of our best practice allows new information to be readily incorporated and promulgated. The flexibility to allow case by case modifications to be considered during project planning to meet emerging issues has been a particular strength of the system. Recent eradication failures within the tropical zone highlight the need for emerging best practice to be documented for tropical island projects.