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Protecting threatened Over-seas biodiversity
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Volunteers help Tuit-tuit!

On August 31st and September 1st, 19 volunteers contributed to the protection of the Tuit-tuit by deratting part of its habitat within the Roche-Ecrite massif. On mission in Reunion Island, the BIODIV’OM coordination assistant was able to take part in this deratting project.

Launching rat poison during the derratisation project © Florent BIGNON

Participatory sites

During these sites, volunteers walk through transects called “rat lines” on which bait stations containing blocks of rat poison are arranged. The lines are crossed and blocks of rat poison are thrown on both sides of the posts using slingshots. Thanks to these participatory projects carried out over the past three years on the Roche-Ecrite forest, the population is now estimated at 37 pairs in 2018 compared to 7 pairs in 2003 and has managed to produce 25 chicks during the 2018-2019 season.

Sustainability of actions

Considering the surface of the island, the fight against the rat must be a sustainable action in time to be able to control their populations within the territory of the Reunion Island. For this, brigade chief positions have been created and are held by volunteers who, once trained by SEOR employees, take charge of groups of volunteers to carry out the rat extermination. Nowadays, more than a dozen volunteers have committed themselves as brigade chiefs over 5 to 10 years to ensure the preservation of the Tuit-tuit and thus derattoise in dock-autonomy 29% of the area concerned.

Participation of the coordinating assistant

On mission in Reunion Island from 26 August to 2 September, the BIODIV’OM coordination assistant took part in this project. A good opportunity for the LPO, coordinator of the program, to strengthen the links with the field teams and take note of the concrete actions carried out on the spot. This action was also an opportunity to observe an individual Tuit-tuit, extremely rare and threatened bird, but also to discover its exceptional habitat, the Roche-Ecrite massif.