All too often we hear only about species declines and problems faced by nature conservation. Yet there are many examples of excellent and positive conservation success stories that do not get the recognition they deserve. If approached correctly, based on science and properly resourced, conservation objectives can be met. Here we profile 10 conservation initiatives that have been very successful in delivery of conservation objectives. This is the latest in our Biodiversity Ireland’s Top 10 which celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the establishment of the National Biodiversity Data Centre.

 

Eradication of Muskrat

Eradication of Muskrat
Muskrat, a native of North America, were introduced to Ireland for fur farming in 1929. A thriving population established  along the southeastern shores of Lough Derg in Co. Tipperary between 1929 and 1934, from three animals that escaped from holding cages. Arising from concerns about the impact of this invasive species on the local area, The Musk Rat Act 1933 was enacted and an extermination programme begun in September of that year. By May 1934 the last muskrat was trapped, signalling the end of this successful eradication programme. Although this eradication occurred almost 100 years ago, it shows that if there is the political will, backed up by adequate resources, the eradication of invasive species is possible. By way of postscript, a single muskrat was sighted in Co. Cork in 2015, demonstrating the need for constant vigilance to protect against new arrivals  (Photograph: Pixabay).