Island Conservation is working to restore our biodiversity and prevent extinctions where the concentration of species and species extinction is the greatest – on islands.
Islands make up only 3% of the earth’s land area, but are home to 20% of all bird, reptile, and plant species. Extinction rates are also exponentially greater on islands. 95% of bird extinctions and 90% of reptiles, 69% of mammals, and 68% of plant extinctions have occurred on islands.
Most of these extinctions are caused by invasive species such as feral goats and rats. When invasive species are removed from islands the native plants and animals and the island’s ecosystems recover naturally with little or no additional intervention.
Island Conservation is a network of conservationists working collaboratively with government bodies, local communities, and other communities with an interest in island archipelagos.
Island Conservation works to remove invasive species from islands, build local capacity for science-driven management of islands, develop removal techniques for invasive species, and conduct applied research to inform island conservation actions.
Over the last 17 years, Island Conservation with local partners have protected 288 species from the threat of extinction, restored 45 islands, and recovered and protected 308 seabird nesting colonies.
In 2011-2012 Island Conservation is working on island restoration projects in Canada, California, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Chile, and the Line Islands
According to Michael Soule of the Society for Conservation Biology, Island Conservation is the world’s most effective organization in saving species from extinction per dollar spent.