Skip to comments.US gov't to air-drop toxic mice on Guam snakes
Posted on 02/22/2013 4:04:20 PM PST by traumer
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (AP) - Dead mice laced with painkillers are about to rain down on Guam's jungle canopy. They are scientists' prescription for a headache that has caused the tiny U.S. territory misery for more than 60 years: the brown tree snake.
Most of Guam's native bird species are extinct because of the snake, which reached the island's thick jungles by hitching rides from the South Pacific on U.S. military ships shortly after World War II. There may be 2 million of the reptiles on Guam now, decimating wildlife, biting residents and even knocking out electricity by slithering onto power lines.
More than 3,000 miles away, environmental officials in Hawaii have long feared a similar invasion - which in their case likely would be a "snakes on a plane" scenario. That would cost the state many vulnerable species and billions of dollars, but the risk will fall if Guam's air-drop strategy succeeds.
"We are taking this to a new phase," said Daniel Vice, assistant state director of U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services in Hawaii, Guam, and the Pacific Islands. "There really is no other place in the world with a snake problem like Guam."
Brown tree snakes are generally a few feet (1 meter) long but can grow to be more than 10 feet (3 meters) in length. Most of Guam's native birds were defenseless against the nocturnal, tree-based predators, and within a few decades of the reptile's arrival, nearly all of them were wiped out.
(Excerpt) Read more at myfoxdc.com ...
ding ding ding!
We have a winnna in the "Question of the Day" category!
No, mostly they don't, unless trained to. Usually they require that their prey move, although some species will eat eggs.
but these mice have pinpoint accuracy, they will be dropped directly ON the snakes!!
If they had called the movie "Snakes on a Ship", it might have been a bit more realistic. Maybe.
i though snakes hunted by infra-red? how are they going to spot cold, dead mice?
If they get rid of the snakes, it could destroy the delicate balance...
That guy gets all the girls
Well, this one is pretty close...
Hmm...no impact to birds.....right?
I love the smell of dead mice in the morning!
Poor kittehs . . .
Brownies are not fussy,,,and the dropprd mice are fitted with cordage designed to foul in the tree branches, special for the snakes.
Thanks for the info.
Wall Street Journal had a pretty detailed article about this. The snakes ate all the birds, so that’s not really an issue. THe brown snake also eats dead animals. The article said they’ve had success doing this on a smaller scale.
Hey, maybe they could just dump all the dead mice on one end of the island, and tip all the snakes into the ocean.
“acetaminophen, which is harmless to humans.”
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