The researchers argue the likes of feral cats are not of conservation concern, but the species they threaten are often found only on islands where the entire population is at risk of extinction.

Stuart Butchart, chief scientist at Birdlife International, said the action could save “extraordinary species that have evolved in isolation and are only found on these remote islands”.

Some culls have already taken place on islands. The world’s largest rodent eradication project was recently declared a success, with the UK territory of South Georgia becoming rat-free for the first time in more than 200 years.