The palm savannah habitat still found on Round Island was once characteristic of the northern plain of Mauritius, but this is now lost to development. As one of the few islands still free from introduced rats, Round Island has a high conservation value. It supports many breeding seabirds as well as eight species of native reptile. It suffered following the introduction of goats and rabbits in the 19th century, as their zealous over-grazing caused extreme soil erosion. In the 1970s the goats were successfully eradicated, but the rabbits were more difficult to remove. As the destruction caused by the rabbits continued to increase into the 1980s, Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust funded three scientists who were challenged to exterminate the rabbits on Round Island. In just two months, these scientists were able to poison every rabbit on the island, and a year later in 1987 it was declared rabbit-free. Invasive weeds were also removed, and native vegetation was found to be growing prolifically (3).