Voyage to eradicate rats and save birds

Conservationists have embarked on a three-month trip to one of the remotest places on Earth in a bid to eradicate rats from a Polynesian island where they threaten to drive an endangered seabird to the edge of extinction.

The RSPB will be destroying the entire rodent population found on Henderson Island – an uninhabited part of the UK's Pitcairn overseas territory in the South Pacific – in a bid to save the endangered grey-brown Henderson petrel, a bird that is found to nest only on the world heritage site.

As part of the £1.5m project, scientists will drop rat poison from the air. The partnership will also see a ship and two helicopters taking a 17,000-mile voyage around three islands in the Pacific.

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