Coconut Crab East Island

In 2018 scientists discovered a direct relationship between healthy seabird populations on islands and healthy reefs. Seabirds forage for food in the ocean they return to the islands and their droppings act as a natural fertiliser for the surrounding corals. Seabird densities and nitrogen deposition rates are 760 and 251 times higher, respectively, on islands where humans have not introduced rats. On rat-free islands, fish biomass and coral reef productivity is higher, with evidence that this may also provide some resilience to coral bleaching. Save Eagle Island is the Chagos Conservation Trust’s ambitious project that aims to ecologically restore the Chagos Archipelago’s second largest island and see the return of thriving seabird populations, and remove the rats. Yachts for Science is working together with Chagos Conservation trust finding yachts interested in supporting this project.