On Makatea, an uplifted coral atoll marred by decades of mining, searching for crabs often requires gambling with the treacherous terrain.
Hundreds of years ago, Europeans were sailing the globe and “discovering” new parcels of land—and rats came along with them as stowaways. As crews made landfall on many islands, rats hopped off and made themselves new homes.
The rats prospered, outcompeting, eating, or otherwise driving off native species, and fragile island ecosystems suffered. However, new research suggests that these remote, isolated ecosystems can bounce back relatively quickly after conservation groups eliminate the rats, a practice that is becoming increasingly common. And the changes caused by the rats’ removal are even felt in offshore ecosystems.
Rats actually harm coral
Rats are not picky when it comes to food. They’ll happily chow down on fruit, seeds, nuts, insects, and almost anything else they can stomach. This has a notable impact on the islands’ terrestrial habitats. But in a stark yet roundabout way, rats also harm marine habitats.
During a year with limited travel possibilities, our World Through a Lens series offered Times readers a weekly escape. Here are some of the highlights.
If the water could be pumped to the surface, it could help alleviate shortages on the island.
With a few easy-to-find items, you can discover the archipelago’s breathtaking biodiversity, savor its flavors and music, even delight in an island-inspired Thanksgiving.
The Honker Divide Canoe Route draws intrepid travelers through the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest. But the lifting of logging restrictions may indelibly alter its character.
The desolate beauty of the winemaking tradition on Lanzarote, the easternmost of the Canary Islands, is evidence of human resilience in the face of adversity.
Many islands are open to American travelers. Going could mean bringing coronavirus to places ill prepared to deal with it. Not going could mean deepening economic woes. How do you choose?
The remote Isle Royale, tucked away in the northern reaches of Lake Superior, is one of America’s least visited national parks.
In a remote area of Maine, the Wakeman family maintains the traditions of island shepherding, the cycles of which have been largely unchanged for centuries.
The inhabitants of Tristan da Cunha, which sits in the remote waters of the South Atlantic, are insulated from the coronavirus by an immense moat.
Join us for a visual tour of the island nation of Madagascar, about 90 percent of whose flora and fauna is found nowhere else on Earth.
Some 2,200 miles off the coast of Chile, Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, is among the world’s most remote — and mysterious — inhabited islands.
Hundreds of boaters stuck in the Caribbean have converged on the U.S. Virgin Islands, but there are fears that their safe haven comes at a cost for residents.