In the Pacific we are lucky to have so many dedicated Invasive Species Battlers. Those that work hard and achieve real outcomes for the benefit of their community, country, territory or state and the Pacific region. The “Pacific Invasive Species Battler of the Year Award” aims to recognise these outstanding people and the contribution they make.

Announcing the Battler of the Year for 2022

Click on image to view the video of Hugo OUDART or read his story here


Mr Hugo OUDART leads the development of biosecurity detector canine teams based at the Faa’a International Airport in charge of controlling international and inter-island arrivals via air, as well as a team based at the commercial port in charge of ships, inter-island schooners and private sailboats. This work has landed him the 2022 Battler of the Year Award, as announced by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) on 16 December 2022. 

The efforts aim to strengthen border control under the EDF-funded PROTEGE project to prevent the introduction of species such as red fire ants, fruit flies, and other harmful invasive species such as Citrus tristeza virus, coconut rhinoceros beetle and bee varroosis into French Polynesia.

Previous Battlers of the Year Awardees

Wallis and futuna

Wallis and Futuna Environmental Service - 2021

The work done by the Wallis and Futuna Environmental Service to combat invasive species, earned them the 2021 Pacific "Battler of the Year" award. This award, recognizes Pacific invasive species field practitioners who have worked and achieved an outstanding result for biodiversity.

The Wallis and Futuna team embodies this and much more. They successfully carried out rat extermination operations on four islets; they removed 30 tall American agave plants and over 1,500 seedlings, and removed over 1,000 m2 of devil's creeper. This work was carried out within the framework of the PROTEGE project financed by the European Union.

Read their story here

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Huggard Tongatule - 2020

Along with managing invasive pigs, Mr Tongatule is also managing high priority weeds, progressing natural enemy solutions for the widespread weed taro vine, and undertaking awareness raising activities.

Mr Tongatule is also about to embark on restoring two large areas of Huvalu Forest in Niue and is undertaking a feasibility assessment to eradicate rats from all of Niue. He is participating in all the aspects of the Pacific Regional Invasive Species Management Support Services (PRISMSS)  that are being implemented.