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A Rat-Free Palmyra

Images of a Restoration Project

The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Island Conservation recently completed a-month long restoration project to rid Palmyra of all black rats.  Photo © Graeme Gale

The project supply ship, Aquila, docks at Cooper Island. Photo © Rory Stansbury

The Aquila unloads equipment and supplies for the month-long project.  Photo © Gregg Howald

The helicopter operations crew was vital to the project's success. Photo © Rory Stansbury

Helicopters used in the restoration project were taken apart and shipped to Palmyra, then re-assembled on the atoll.  Photo © Susan White

The project required the use of two full-time helicopters to deliver bait throughout the atoll.  Photo © B. Flint

Project field staff use a number of innovative methods, including lowering a crew member from a helicopter, to deliver bait in hard-to-reach places. Photo © Rory Stansbury

Another innovative method was using sling shots to set bait in trees.  Photo © Susan White

Plant life throughout the atoll was seeded with small bait pellets.  Photo  © Gregg Howald

Bait was set everywhere on the atoll,  including old World War II bunkers. Photo © Gregg Howald

 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge manager for Palmyra recorded the project's progress.  Photo © Susan White

The restoration is expected to be a boon for the atoll's wildlife, and especially its bird life, including the resident population of sooty terns. Photo ©  Susan White

Project crew members pose for a photo at the end of long day's work.  Photo © Gregg Howald

The supply ship Aquila departed Palmyra at the end of the month-long project.  Photo © Rory Stansbury

Forty-one crew members from three different organizations participated in the Palmyra Restoration Project.  Photo © Susan White

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