Island ecosystems throughout the Pacific have undergone catastrophic species loss, largely due to the effects of alien or non-native species. Rats, in particular, pose significant threats to native species. In Hawai`i, the appearance of rats (which are not native to Hawai`i) in the subfossil record coincides with the disappearance of ground nesting birds. Sadly, only three of Hawai`i?s 10 endemic waterfowl species still exist today. The Laysan Duck (Anas laysanensis), also known as the Laysan Teal, is a critically endangered dabbling duck that is restricted to a single population on the remote and rat-free Laysan Island (Fig. 1). The Laysan Duck was listed as an endangered species in 1966 because of its small population, limited distribution, and dependence on a fragile island ecosystem. The same threats identified in 1966 continue to plague the species today.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Translocation of Endangered Laysan Ducks to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (2004-5)