Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rodents not long for 'Rat Island'

Rat Island western viewI read today that scientists hope to rid an uninhabited Alaskan island of a rat infestation and make it hospitable to seabirds again. Rats first climbed ashore the island in southwest Alaska in 1780 after a rodent plagued Japanese ship ran aground. Since then the sound of birds has disappeared from Rat Island, as the 6.871 acre piece of rock was dubbed by a 19th-century sea captain. The rats feed on the eggs, chicks and adult seabirds that come there to nest. Biologists are hoping to begin exterminating the rodents next fall with poison dropped from helicopters. Stay tuned...!

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