Competition between native and invasive species is an often overlooked mechanism that can contribute to species loss. Conversely it may also provide a novel opportunity to improve conservation outcomes for native fauna. Rodents with established territories in intact vegetation can potentially exclude invaders through direct aggressive interactions. A reintroduction of the native rodent Rattus fuscipes was facilitated by providing this species with a competitive advantage over invasive Rattus rattus. Rattus fuscipes was reintroduced in three stages between 2014 and 2016. Rattus rattus was strategically suppressed within localised release sites in an attempt to transfer residency status to the newly released animals. In less than three years the Rattus fuscipes population had expanded through the landscape and displayed successful recruitment across multiple generations. In contrast, suppression of Rattus rattus led to slow re-invasion and a shift in population ecology of the re-invaders. This conservation program demonstrates that native rodent populations with established territories in intact vegetation can potentially exclude invaders through direct aggressive interactions. This type of approach can provide opportunities to restore native fauna in habitats dominated by Rattus rattus.