While ecotourism hotspot Penguin Island is best known for the iconic birds it was named after, the invasive black rat is slowly beginning to inhabit the island, threatening the very existence of its namesake.
The rats began to appear on the island off the coast of Perth about a year ago, and have since left a steady trail of destruction at their heels.
Penguin Island manager David Charles says they pose a serious threat to the area's ecology, eating penguin chicks and eggs and killing other animals such as shorebirds and native skinks.
The Department of Environment and Conservation plans to tackle the issue by introducing a six-week baiting program that aims to rid of the black rats for good.
It will involve using an anticoagulant rat poison contained in bait stations, that will be placed in a grid pattern around the island.
The rats will be able to reach the stations, but they're designed to reduce the possibility of native fauna, such as skinks, getting into them.
"There could be some short-term negative impacts on native animals due to their ingestion of the poison, but the long-term benefits of the baiting program are enormous," he says.
Similar rat control methods have been used around the world with great success and Mr Charles says he hopes the rats will cease to exist on the island by March.
"We hope to eradicate the rats off the island completely, it's been successful in other islands around the world using this type of system," he said.
The island will remain open to the public during the baiting phase, though visitors will be urged to keep to the boardwalks, walk trails and main beaches.
The phase will run from mid-January until the end of February, and a biosecurity plan will subsequently be developed to ensure black rats and other introduced animals are not taken to Penguin Island in the future.