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Seabirds making a comeback in Gwaii Haanas after islands declared rat free

Parks Canada announced night birds are making a come back in the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site after three islands were declared rat free.

The birds, also known as Ancient Murrelets, were once found in abundance on the many islands of Haida Gwaii but are now a species at risk.

They were decimated by invasive rats that were brought to the islands by ships.

Tyler Peet is with the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, and says the murrelets are an important Haida cultural symbol.

Peet says the work to re-balance the islands’ ecology isn’t over yet.

He adds they’ll be doing DNA mapping work on rat populations to see how they spread and develop ways to contain them.

Peet says seabird conservation is a multi-national effort since birds migrate huge distances between countries.

The project to rid the islands of rats began in 2009 and was completed in 2013.

A link to a Parks Canada video on the seabird conservation efforts on Haida Gwaii can be found here.

About Gene Law

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