Managing non-target wildlife mortality whilst using rodenticides to eradicate invasive rodents on islands

Paula A. Castaño, Karl J. Campbell, Greg S. Baxter, Victor Carrión, Francesca Cunninghame, Penny Fisher, Richard Griffiths, Chad C. Hanson, Gregg R. Howald, Wesley J. Jolley, Bradford S. Keitt, Pete J. McClelland, Julia B. Ponder, Danny Rueda, Glyn Young, Christian Sevilla, Nick D. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Invasive rodents are one of the greatest threats to island biodiversity. Eradicating these species from islands has become increasingly practicable in recent decades, primarily using anticoagulant rodenticides. However, this approach also poses risks to native wildlife, and there has been corresponding development in the management of risks to non-target wildlife species. Here we review strategies and tactics used in operational management of non-target risk, using examples from rodent eradication projects conducted on 178 islands where non-target risk assessment and mitigation was a component of the rodent eradication campaign. We identified 17 different tactics within a framework of three strategic approaches: avoidance of risk, minimization of risk, and remediation of the impact of non-target wildlife mortality. We summarize these tactics in terms of their applicability, strengths, and weaknesses for rodent eradication projects in general, plus the potential interactions with achieving rodent eradication. There remains great potential for further innovation in reducing non-target wildlife risks from rodenticide used for invasive rodent eradications on islands, supporting advancement of the social acceptability of the toolset and biodiversity conservation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBiological Invasions
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Brodifacoum
  • Conservation
  • Endemic species
  • Eradication
  • Non-target mitigation
  • Rattus


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