There is increasing interest in restoring native predators in order to regulate ecosystems and maintain biodiversity, but predator reintroductions are still controversial for complex social and ecological reasons. Few studies have examined predator restoration on islands or in ecosanctuaries, where highly endemic faunas have typically undergone precipitous declines and extinctions due to novel invasive predators, and translocations are used to restore species.
The kagu (Rhynochetos jubatus) is an iconic endemic flightless bird from New Caledonia, red-listed as endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) criteria. Feral cats are among the most successful and damaging invaders for island biodiversity. They have been directly responsible for the extinction of numerous birds worldwide, especially small- and medium-sized flightless species.
Squamata are one of the most threatened groups among island vertebrates, facing high pressure from exotic species. However, the contribution of small terrestrial reptiles in invasive rodents’ diet remains poorly investigated, partly because of the lack of tools for accurately identifying chewed prey fragments in gut contents. The New Caledonia archipelago (South Pacific) hosts an exceptional terrestrial squamata fauna (105 species, 91.6% endemic) that are faced with many invasive species (rodents, feral cats, feral pigs, ants) and strong human pressures.