Graeme Beech

Key Note Speaker

Lord Howe Island Rodent Eradication Project 2019 

Graeme has enjoyed a long career working as a conservation/recreation planner, park manager and executive manager in a range of locations including Wilsons Promontory National Park, Jervis Bay (Booderee National Park), Christmas Island, Darwin, Canberra, PNG and Hobart. Graeme worked as Station Leader at Casey Station and Macquarie Island with the Australian Antarctic Division. Graeme was part of the Macquarie Island Pest Eradication Project team and recently spent 9 months on Lord Howe Island as the Rodent Eradication Project Assistant Project Manager (Operations).

 

In 1982, The Lord Howe Island Group was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage property in recognition of the global significance of its beauty and biodiversity. With that listing comes the responsibility to preserve world heritage values. Predation by exotic rats is listed as a Key Threatening Process under Federal and NSW legislation. Rodents on LHI threaten over 70 species, 7 of these listed as Critically Endangered.

On ground operational components of the LHI Rodent Eradication Project have been carried out in 2019.  Baiting of rodents has been undertaken using both aerial and ground application techniques.  At the peak of the project over 130 staff were engaged to achieve the objective of removing every rat and mouse from the island.

The project is the largest rodent eradication on a permanently inhabited island in the world. Rodent eradications on inhabited islands bring unique challenges.