Lehua Islet declared rat-free

  • Courtesy of state Department of Land and Natural Resources

    Lehua Islet is home to many kinds of seabirds, which nest in the cliffs.

  • Jessica Else / The Garden Island file

    The sun rises through a rock feature on Lehua Islet, dubbed “the keyhole.”

LIHU‘E — After decades of work, Lehua Island, the tiny island off Ni‘ihau and Kaua‘i’s west shore, has been declared free of damaging, introduced, invasive rats, enabling Hawai‘i’s seabirds to safely nest on the steep, rocky cliffs, and native plants to flourish once again.