United Nations
Seabird conservation monitoring & predator removal
by Te Ipukarea Society (Non-governmental organization (NGO))
Primary Objective: To eradicate rats on Suwarrow and conduct bird surveys on Pukapuka/Nassau, while building capacity of indigenous Cook Islanders, creating knowledge products, and increasing public awareness.

Removal of introduced invasive predators (rats) from Suwarrow National Park will strengthen the resilience of the seabird communities that live there. It may also encourage other species of seabirds to inhabit the atoll. It would make Suwarrow a safer layover location for migratory birds. A healthy and diverse seabird community is an important part of a healthy ocean ecosystem. As indicators of biodiversity to reflect the health of the marine environment.

The team will sail to Suwarrow with all necessary materials and equipment. Tracks will be cut across Motu Tou in a grid pattern. The team will then traverse the island using these tracks, broadcasting bait so that 100% of the land is covered. The process will be repeated 10 days later to ensure young that were in nests have also come out and been exposed to the baits. The team will also conduct bird surveys on Pukapuka and Nassau, before returning to Rarotonga.

The biosecurity plan for Suwarrow will also be reviewed to minimise any risk of re-infestation.

The project will output a number of documents which will inform the general public both here in the Cook Islands and throughout the world. who are planning similar activities, from national policymakers and conservation workers, to regional and international invasive species eradication experts, to the wider global conservation community. Documents which will be produced include: an updated Suwarrow Rat Eradication Operational Plan, a final report to GEF summarising the project and its benefits to the Cook Islands environment and communities, three separate bird survey reports regarding the respective islands, and a number of informative articles for a range of media (print, conservation websites, social media), targeted for local, regional, and international audiences
Progress reports
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Large Marine Ecosystem approach
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
March 2018
Reviewed Biosecurity plan fr Suwarrow is in place
October 2017
All rats on Suwarrow Atoll are eliminated
October 2017
Staff of Te Ipukarea Society and the Cook Ilsands Voyaging Society and the National Environent Service have gained valuable capacity in invasive species eradication,
In-kind contribution
20000 in free labour provided to the project by communities, NGOs, and Government
Financing (in USD)
50,000 USD
Staff / Technical expertise
BirdLife International technical expertise
Basic information
Time-frame: July 2017 - December 2018
Te Ipukarea Society (NGO) National Environment Service (Government Agency) BirdLife International (International NGO)
Ocean Basins
  • South Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Other Pacific Island Countries bordering the Cook Islands, eg Samoa, Tokelau, French Polynesia
Contact information
Liam Kokaua, Project Officer, info@tiscookislands.org, 682 21144
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Other SDGs
United Nations