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Author Topic: Two thousand mice dropped on Guam by parachute — to kill snakes  (Read 2941 times)

Online zorgon

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Two thousand mice dropped on Guam by parachute — to kill snakes



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By M. Alex Johnson, Staff Writer, NBC News
They floated down from the sky Sunday — 2,000 mice, wafting on tiny cardboard parachutes over Andersen Air Force Base in the U.S. territory of Guam.

But the rodent commandos didn't know they were on a mission: to help eradicate the brown tree snake, an invasive species that has caused millions of dollars in wildlife and commercial losses since it arrived a few decades ago.

That's because they were dead. And pumped full of painkillers.

The unlikely invasion was the fourth and biggest rodent air assault so far, part of an $8 million U.S. program approved in February to eradicate the snakes and save the exotic native birds that are their snack food.

"Every time there is a technique that is tested and shows promise, we jump on that bandwagon and promote it and help out and facilitate its implementation," Tino Aguon, acting chief of the U.S. Agriculture Department's wildlife resources office for Guam, told NBC station KUAM of Hagatna.
It's not just birds the government is trying to protect. It's also money.



http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/12/02/21724382-two-thousand-mice-dropped-on-guam-by-parachute-to-kill-snakes

deuem

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Re: Two thousand mice dropped on Guam by parachute — to kill snakes
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2013, 12:04:09 AM »
8 million dollars to kill snakes and it is not even in the states. Can't they just hire a few US out of work people with meat cleavers and traps. Snakes are good to eat. Tastey.  Send some people looking for work there to gather them up for food. Make it the great snake hunt. Put live people to work, not dead mice. What snake wants to eat a dead mouse?  I have never seen a dead rat been eaten yet!
 
Deuem

sky otter

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Re: Two thousand mice dropped on Guam by parachute — to kill snakes
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2013, 08:25:10 AM »


http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/12/03/248386912/dead-mice-update-tiny-assassins-dropped-on-guam-again

Dead Mice Update: Tiny Assassins Dropped On Guam Again
by Mark Memmott

December 03, 2013 1:40 PM

Dead mice laced with acetaminophen have for the fourth time been dropped from helicopters into trees on Guam in an experiment aimed at killing snakes that have devastated the island's bird population and caused other damage.

No, we haven't been duped by something written by The Onion.

As we reported last February, scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service have been experimenting in the jungles around Anderson Air Force Base. They want to see if some of the estimated 2 million brown tree snakes on the island can be eradicated by enticing them to eat mice containing relatively small amounts of the painkiller.

It seems that acetaminophen is toxic to the snakes.

The trick has been getting the poisoned bait to the snakes, which hang out in trees, and keeping it away from other animals (though researchers say the 80 milligrams of acetaminophen in each mouse shouldn't harm most other creatures). The potential solution: attach the rodents to streamers that act as weak parachutes, then drop them from helicopters into the trees. The streamers get snagged in branches. For the snakes, it's manna (or mice?) from heaven.

This Monday, Guam's Pacific Daily News writes, "representatives from several federal agencies watched... as a crew dropped dead mice filled with mild toxins onto two test sites on Andersen Air force Base, for the fourth official aerial bait drop event." The Department of Interior and Department of Defense have joined in the $8 million project.

This week's test included a high-tech component:

"Crews ... combed the two 136-acre areas — equaling the size of about 210 football fields combined — to locate tiny radios also implanted in some of the mice," the Pacific Daily News says. "These radios help the USDA track the snakes' activity — whether or not they've eaten the mice or if the mice decompose on their own."

On a video posted by the Pacific Daily News, Agriculture Department biologist Dan Vice says the drops were designed to "further the technology" and help determine if mouse bombs are indeed effective snake killers. There's some footage of the aerial drops in that video.



VID AT LINK

There's more about all this in our previous post, including some background:

As NPR's Christopher Joyce has reported, "the brown tree snake invaded Guam over 60 years ago — they sneaked in aboard boats or in the wheel wells of airplanes." It's feared that they might show up elsewhere, such as Hawaii, if they hop rides on planes and ships leaving Guam. The Agriculture Department has estimated that if the snakes reached the Aloha State, the economic damage "from medical incidents [bites], power outages [they get caught in power lines and transmitters], and decreases in tourism ... would range from approximately $593 million to $2.14 billion annually."

The snakes' presence in Guam has been good for at least some creatures. Chris reported that because the snakes have eaten most of the island's birds, the spider population has exploded.

Also, there's this from a 2011 report posted on Andersen Air Base's website:

" 'As you may or may not know, the brown tree snake is responsible for the extinction of nine of 12 forest birds on Guam,' explained [Marc Hall, the supervisory wildlife biologist of USDA on Andersen]. 'Research is showing that the loss of the birds may be impacting the ability of the natural ecosystem to sustain itself.'

"Before the snakes arrived, Guam's ecosystem was very different. Numerous birds could be seen and heard when walking through the northern limestone forests. Without the birds to disperse seeds and the fact that nonnative pigs and deer tear up the ground and eat sapling plants, the native limestone forest has been severely degraded and will require extensive help in order to recover."

And we've previously covered the issue of "live vs. dead bait":

This research paper posted online by the Agriculture Department indicates that in earlier tests, the snakes did devour "dead neonatal mice adulterated with 80-mg acetaminophen" and that the "baiting" with laced mice was effective in killing the snakes.



......................................

Guam (i/??w??m/; Chamorro: Guåhån) is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government.[4][5] Guam is listed as one of seventeen Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United Nations.[6] The island's capital is Hagåtña (formerly named Agana). Guam is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands.

The Chamorros, Guam's indigenous people, first populated the island approximately 4,000 years ago. The island has a long history of European colonialism, beginning with Ferdinand Magellan's Spanish expedition landing on March 6, 1521. The first colony was established in 1668 by Spain with the arrival of settlers including Padre San Vitores, a Catholic missionary. For more than two centuries Guam was an important stopover for the Spanish Manila Galleons that crossed the Pacific annually. The island was controlled by Spain until 1898, when it was surrendered to the United States during the Spanish–American War and later formally ceded as part of the Treaty of Paris.

As the largest island in Micronesia and the only U.S.-held island in the region before World War II, Guam was captured by the Japanese on December 8, 1941, just hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and was occupied for two and a half years. During the occupation, the people of Guam were subjected to acts that included torture, beheadings, and rape,[7][8] and were forced to adopt the Japanese culture.[9] Guam was subject to fierce fighting when U.S. troops recaptured the island on July 21, 1944, a date commemorated every year as Liberation Day.[10]

Today, Guam's economy is supported by its principal industry, tourism, which is composed primarily of visitors from Japan. Guam's second largest source of income is the United States military.[11]



..........................



http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20131202/NEWS08/312020022/Guam-tests-toxic-mice-kill-invasive-snakes-Andersen



http://www.kuam.com/story/24117947/2013/12/02/military-exercise-on-guam-and-tinian-this-week

deuem

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Re: Two thousand mice dropped on Guam by parachute — to kill snakes
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2013, 08:46:26 AM »
"Mouse Bombs", yea thats us, If we can't bomb it we don't know what to do. I would guess that the monsanto company gets 1.5 thousand per mouse. and the ribbons are a couple of hundred each mouse. And this 8 million looks like a test amount. Wonder what the bottom line is for killing snakes.
 
So far I read they estimate 2 million snakes. So thats 4 bucks a snake to take them out. Maybe!  I for one want to see 2 million snake hides to believe it..
 
So far 2,000 dead mice dropped or 4,000 each mouse. And then they still have 1,998,000 snakes left if it was 100%.
Deuem

Offline Somamech

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Re: Two thousand mice dropped on Guam by parachute — to kill snakes
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2013, 10:07:57 AM »
So Guam is Snake Haven  :o

Problom is Dueoy is that your solution would make too much sense!  Some bean counter has dreamt up some magical figure that it would cost them something silly like 18k per day per person (or some silly figure like that) to do the job  ;)

Or the snakes are really Alien's and we are not told the whole story ;)

Offline robomont

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Re: Two thousand mice dropped on Guam by parachute — to kill snakes
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2013, 10:25:31 AM »
Ive never seen any dead mouse or rat get eaten.sounds to me like they want to start a fly plague.why not glue a bayer laced with valium.that way if the mouse bites the pill it makes him sleepy.then the snake will eat it whole and die.
ive never been much for rules.
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Offline Somamech

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Re: Two thousand mice dropped on Guam by parachute — to kill snakes
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2013, 10:31:12 AM »
Yeah interesting equation you bring Robo ;)

I did ponder whether a Non snake eating culture is in Guam and that it drove the snake eater's out hence causing this problem :D


Offline robomont

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Re: Two thousand mice dropped on Guam by parachute — to kill snakes
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2013, 11:36:23 AM »
My buddy supervised a job in guam.he told me pinner joints are twenty dollars.
He said they are so laid back they make lazy people look like they are hyper compared to them.start work at noon and get off work at four.that the island is basically sponsored by miller light.and most have never seen a pair of work boots let alone a pair of shoes.and they basically all live off spam.thats  all the supermarket has is spam.all kinds of flavors.row after row of spam.i always thought there was only one flavor of spam.he said there are like twenty.and killing a deer on the island is like the death penalty.
ive never been much for rules.
being me has its priviledges.

Dumbledore

Offline WarToad

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Re: Two thousand mice dropped on Guam by parachute — to kill snakes
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2013, 12:11:18 PM »
Reptiles in general will eat carrion when hungry. (Komodo dragons love and seek out dead critters)  Snakes will eat dead mice. (Oddly, you can find videos of people feeding their pet snakes dead mice on youtube)

What I see is even if you get 2000 snakes to eat the 2000 mice, it's a population of 2 million snakes.  A match on a bonfire.   This is a  test run to observe it's effectiveness.  If it works, I bet we see much larger future mouseageddons.
Time is the fire in which we burn.

Online zorgon

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Re: Two thousand mice dropped on Guam by parachute — to kill snakes
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2013, 01:04:35 PM »
Would this method work on the Snakes in Washington?

:P

Offline WarToad

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Re: Two thousand mice dropped on Guam by parachute — to kill snakes
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2013, 01:13:03 PM »
Ugg.  I think they require a stake through the heart, burned, and scatter the ashes to the four winds and seven seas.   ???
Time is the fire in which we burn.

Offline robomont

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Re: Two thousand mice dropped on Guam by parachute — to kill snakes
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2013, 05:06:16 PM »
Gold for wartoad.
ive never been much for rules.
being me has its priviledges.

Dumbledore

 


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