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  • The Rat Island sky fell silent after an invasion by predatory Norway rats more than two centuries ago. These 2009 photos show the beginning of a remarkable bird recovery on this Aleutian island. © Island Conservation
  • Together with Island Conservation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy led a campaign to eradicate the invasive rats--essential for restoring seabird populations. © Island Conservation
  • The black oystercatcher is among the dozens of bird species expected to flourish on Rat Island again. © Island Conservation
  • Black oystercatcher nests such as this one discovered during the 2009 summer field season are the first ever recorded on the island. © Island Conservation
  • Black oystercatcher chick. © Island Conservation
  • Rock sandpiper nest. © Island Conservation
  • Winter wren. © Island Conservation
  • Flock of Aleutian cackling geese. © Island Conservation
  • An Aleutian cackling goose nest. Note how emerging hatchlings pecked the first visible cracks in the eggshells. © Island Conservation
  • A juvenile mallard. © Island Conservation
  • A pigeon guillemot nest. © Island Conservation
  • If eradication is successful, biologists expect Rat Island will again support dozens of bird species. Will the island get a new name? Some suggest Howadax, Aleut for opening or welcome, would be fitting. © Island Conservation
The Nature Conservancy
Signs of New Life at Rat Island in 2009

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