Projects > Ngerkeklau, Palau
Ngarkeklau Island RESTORATION PROJECT
Protecting local livelihoods and biodiversity
Ngerkeklau Island in Ngarchelong State, Palau, is a beautiful nature reserve owned by the state and managed by the Ebiil Society, which teaches indigenous knowledge of environmental protection and natural resource management to local communities.
Ngerkeklau’s pristine mangroves, forests and stunning beaches provide habitat for unique Palauan birds, including the Palauan Megapode. It also boasts a rich variety of “connector” species – such as the Hawksbill Sea Turtle and several seabirds – which live on both land a sea and are significant contributors to the island-ocean ecosystem.
The island is used as an educational site for youths and school groups, with facilities for classes and recreation activities. It is also home to well-preserved historical and cultural sites, including early village foundations and defense walls once used to protect locals during battle.
Unfortunately, the Palauan Megapode and Hawksbill Sea Turtle are vulnerable to predators such as invasive rats. These destructive rodents also degrade and destroy the ecosystem as a whole by reducing biodiversity and disrupting the natural balance of the island.
A Voice from the Community
“Almost a year since the rodent eradication on Ngerkeklau, we've seen exponential plant growth and flourishing nature like crabs, which we have not seen before.”
— Ann Singeo, Executive Director, Ebiil Society
In 2022, IOCC partners completed a rat eradication on Ngerkeklau using specialized drones provided by Envico Technologies. The team tested two different drone baiting platforms and made huge progress in the development, planning and implementation of drones for aerial baiting on tropical islands. The operation was a huge success thanks to a massive effort and continued support from the Ngarchelong State Rangers and the Ebiil Society. The work is ongoing as careful monitoring and data collection will continue in 2023 and beyond to ensure the island remains rat free and protected. With the major stressor to the ecosystem of invasive rats removed, Ebiil Society is working with local youths and community members to restore the island, the surrounding ocean habitat, and all the connected wildlife. Current projects include: reforestation with native trees, sea turtle monitoring, sea cucumber recovery, marine debris removal and education, and summer camps teaching indigenous knowledge about the environment, culture and local traditions.
Project Partners & Funders
Ebiil Society, Envico Technologies, Island Conservation, and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.