Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rat Island with no rats

This has in fact been a huge problem in certain parts of the world. The introduction of an alien species entirely upsets the indigenous fauna. It has been rabbits in Australia, Japanese Bindweed everywhere, cats in New Zealand. Where an ecology that grows up without a certain presence, the introduction can wreak havoc:

Alaska's Rat Island is finally rat-free, 229 years after a Japanese shipwreck spilled rampaging rodents onto the remote Aleutian island, decimating the local bird population.

After dropping poison onto the island from helicopter-hoisted buckets for a week and a half last autumn, there are no signs of living rats and some birds have returned, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Rats have ruled the island since 1780, when they jumped off a sinking Japanese ship and terrorized all but the largest birds on the island. The incident introduced the non-native Norway rat -- also known as the brown rat -- to Alaska.

Good to know that with the widespread use of buckets of poison it is possible to reverse such matters, isn't it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I guess the Palin's finally moved out.