Incoming: Dead mice - FaunaClassifieds
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Herps In The News Local or national articles where reptiles or amphibians have made it into the news media. Please cite sources.

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Old 02-27-2013, 08:18 AM   #1
rcarichter
Incoming: Dead mice

So, the US government, in its infinite reptile wisdom, is dropping Tylenol-stuffed dead mice into Guam to eradicate the brown snakes. Their reasoning is that other snakes won't eat dead prey, and the little chutes will get stuck in trees, keeping the dead mice off limits to most other animals. I guess there are no flying or climbing animals in Guam. Anyone think this is going to work?

Noelle


http://www.aol.com/video/us-to-kill-...ice/517684184/
 
Old 02-27-2013, 08:43 AM   #2
Focal
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcarichter View Post
Their reasoning is that other snakes won't eat dead prey, and the little chutes will get stuck in trees, keeping the dead mice off limits to most other animals. I guess there are no flying or climbing animals in Guam. Anyone think this is going to work?
Not really, that's part of the problem with the Brown snakes. They have almost wiped out the entire bird population. I know the US has had success with this in the past. The snake is also highly susceptible acetaminophen and because it's an invasive species, it might be the only animal with such a weakness on the island, not sure.

I know peta is running with this like wildfire, but they are currently posing a greater risk than Florida right now and with Hawaii in the horizon, the AF base could easily help them invade. Something needs to be done but I'm not 100% this is the best way either.
 
Old 02-27-2013, 08:43 AM   #3
AGoodwin
That is just stupid....
 
Old 02-27-2013, 08:46 AM   #4
Focal
Also, here's a neat figure I found online.

"A 2010 study conducted by the National Wildlife Research Center suggested that brown tree snakes would cause between $593m and $2.14bn in economic damage each year if they became established in Hawaii. Power outages would cause the most damage, followed by a projected decline in tourism."
 
Old 02-28-2013, 01:44 PM   #5
wcreptiles
Deadly mice to rain down on Guam snakes

I would like to see the 'snake fence', I bet it's really tall.
Quote:
The dead mice will target snakes in a fenced-in area of the base, he said, so officials will be able to determine the effectiveness in that area versus an adjacent area that the snakes could move in and out of.
Quote:
(CNN) -- If you're a brown tree snake, those dead rodents that will soon be falling from the sky over Guam's Andersen Air Force Base could be your last meal.

That's because the U.S. Department of Agriculture is planning to pack each one with acetaminophen, the generic equivalent of Tylenol, which can kill a snake in 72 hours.

The drug-laced mice will be taped to pieces of cardboard, which in turn will be attached to streamers that will be dropped from helicopters over more than 100 acres of the Air Force base on the Pacific island.

The bombing campaign is expected to begin this spring, Dan Vice, the USDA assistant operations director on Guam, told the local Pacific News Center. It replicates a smaller-scale test drop tried on Naval Base Guam in 2010, he said.

The goal, he said, is eradicating the brown tree snake from the island.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says brown tree snakes have wiped out most of Guam's native populations of forest birds since being accidentally introduced to the island after World War II, probably after they stowed away on a ship or plane from their native range in Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. The snakes, which can grow up to 8 feet long, also eat small mammals and lizards.

The snake is mildly venomous, the FWS says, but it does not pose a danger to most adults, and its bite will not penetrate clothing.

Besides its effect on bird populations, the snakes also take an economic toll on Guam by causing numerous power outages each year when they cross from tree into electrical lines, the FWS says.

There could be as many as 2 million of the snakes on Guam, where they have no natural predators. About 2,000 mice will be dropped in the newest test, the Pacific Daily News reports. The $1 million program is being funded by the Department of Defense, according to the report.

"No one's ever attempted anything on this scale," Vice said of this spring's planned air drop. "You know to date the largest plot that anyone's been able to get rid of snakes is only a couple of acres. We're talking 110 acres so this is completely novel."

The dead mice will target snakes in a fenced-in area of the base, he said, so officials will be able to determine the effectiveness in that area versus an adjacent area that the snakes could move in and out of.

"We have a site where there's a population of snakes that nobody can get into. It's a controlled population," Vice told the Pacific News Center. "This is being done in a very rigorous, scientific manner. This isn't just something that we've just kind of come up with by the seat of our pants."

And if the test works, more snakes could be confronting death from above.

"We want to make sure we are doing it right. If the information shows that it's effective in controlling the population, we will institute a plan to use it across areas in Guam," Vice told the Pacific Daily News
Original article here.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:55 PM   #6
dustinntech
Actually the snakes are the only predators in the trees, that's why all the birds are dying...

If you can think of a better way I am sure they are willing to listen.
 
Old 03-02-2013, 11:34 PM   #7
Shadera
I hope those guys never make it to Hawaii. So many species that are found there and nowhere else that would be lost forever.

Really weird idea, and I'm not sure how I feel about it, but if they're going to do it hopefully it works.
 
Old 03-02-2013, 11:56 PM   #8
LauraB
Quote:
I hope those guys never make it to Hawaii. So many species that are found there and nowhere else that would be lost forever.
It's despicable. 'Nuff said.
 
Old 03-03-2013, 11:08 AM   #9
snowgyre
Avian malaria has already destroyed the avian ecology of Hawaii. That's why native species can't be found below a certain elevation; the introduced, invasive mosquitoes are carrying a disease they have no resistance for. Not to mention the mongooses that are there. It's so ridiculously easy to screw up island ecologies. Just for an example, ONE feral cat released on an island off the coast of New Zealand made a species of wren go extinct in six months. That's just one cat!!
 
Old 03-06-2013, 11:44 AM   #10
englishaussie
Hi Noelle,

Early trials with this method have been successful, tylenol is toxic to snakes but there are no native snakes on Guam apparently, so they will not be eaten by other snakes. Wether other animals get hold of them remains to be seen.

I sent an email to officails about releasing Mussurana on Guam, as they are ophiophagous they will eat the tree snakes but leave other wild life alone, then when all the tree snakes have been eaten they would turn on each other as they are also cannibalistic.

The only draw back is releasing another invasive species onto Guam which is understandable but i reckon Mussurana would be low impact except on the tree snakes.

The guy told me this option was considered but rejected for the reason stated above.

Andy.
 

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