Kure Atoll has had a history of human activities that have damaged the ecosystem. Invasive alien plants and animals have negatively altered seabird habitat and caused lower reproductive success in several seabird species. Several native plant species are now extinct on Green Island due, in part, to the invasive nature of weeds and arthropods such as Verbesina encelioides and Big-headed ants (Pheidole megacephala). These two ecosystem busters no longer have an impact on the system due to decades of control programs. Continued pest control efforts must be maintained until eradication is achieved or the system will revert to its degraded state.
Restoring Kure’s ecosystem requires the ability to find the balance between efforts given to the cause with the impact the environment receives from sudden changes, whether positive or negative. Fortunately, over the years, the methods have been refined to accomplish the objectives more effectively and sustainably.
The primary activities in the habitat restoration project are to eradicate invasive plants, restore native plants, and conduct pest management.