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Parachuting mice to tackle invasive snakes


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#1    UM-Bot

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 01:56 PM

More than 2000 mice laced with painkillers have been airdropped by parachute from a helicopter over Guam.

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The US Territory of Guam has been inundated with brown snakes, an invasive species that is highly damaging to local birds and wildlife while proving extremely difficult to control. Thought to have arrived in cargo shipments in the 1950s, the snakes have also inflicted millions of dollars worth of damage by wriggling in to electrical substations and causing power outages.

Read More: http://www.unexplain...invasive-snakes

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#2    Taun

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 02:28 PM

I've read reports that there are over 1 million snakes... 2000 dead mice aren't going to even put a dent in that number...


#3    rashore

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 02:55 PM

This came up a while back when they were still in the planning stages about this. Interesting to get a follow up of them proceeding with it.


#4    13Homerun13

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 05:51 PM

Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet... That'd make a humorous sight.


#5    Likely Guy

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 06:24 PM

I pictured 2000 mice with tiny parachutes. :)


#6    seaturtlehorsesnake

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 07:14 PM

View PostLikely Guy, on 04 December 2013 - 06:24 PM, said:

I pictured 2000 mice with tiny parachutes. :)

as did i. and it was almost unbearably cute.


#7    Mr. Smith

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 11:36 PM

wonder what else will happen when 2000 drug laced mice hit the canopy.

If they were smart they'd get some badgers and wolverines. Cant ever have too many badgers and wolverines.


#8    Sundew

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 12:10 AM

Guam has a huge problem from the snakes. They have caused the extinction of several endemic bird species and driven the rest to near extinction. The snakes are venomous, although not dangerously so, and have bitten infants after crawling into houses. They short out wiring when they try spanning power lines. There are huge population densities of them as they have no natural predators on Guam. After destroying most of the bird life, I have heard they are wreaking havoc on the native lizards as well.

And they are a potential ticking time bomb; they may leave the island the same way they likely came, in the hold of a ship or the landing gear of an airplane. Two have been found dead on Oahu falling from the landing gear, if memory serves. One pregnant female surviving the trip to Hawai`i would be a huge disaster to native wildlife and economically. And given the potential population density, it would not be long before it spread to all the Hawaiian Islands.


#9    Eldorado

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 01:34 AM

View PostLikely Guy, on 04 December 2013 - 06:24 PM, said:

I pictured 2000 mice with tiny parachutes. :)

View Postseaturtlehorsesnake, on 04 December 2013 - 07:14 PM, said:

as did i. and it was almost unbearably cute.

Me too!  My vision was of D-Day and the Normandy Landings, starring mice.  And yep, it was too cute rather than too sad.


#10    coolguy

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 04:41 AM

I was thinking D-Day also.stinks the mice have to die


#11    Likely Guy

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 04:58 AM

I'm wondering, how are outnumbered drugged parachuting mice supposed to overtake a snake invasion? I'm with Mr. Smith, they need badgers and wolverines.

Edit: Actually now I'm thinking an amphibious attack by Mongoose's (Mongeese?) would be the answer.

Let's pray for the mice.

Edited by Likely Guy, 05 December 2013 - 05:03 AM.


#12    Controller Junkie

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 05:57 AM

Two thousand mice will kill 2000 snakes thats it, hardly even a noticeable decrease in population. Not to mention it will kill 2000 little mice who dont stand a chance doing there duty for god and country...Lol, realy am picturing Normandy with mice... They need to find or develop a poison, toxin, or some sort of virus that will spread throuhout the bown snake species. Something engineered to only affect the snakes. Im sure we have the tech to do it, just not the want to help. Were so selfish.  Im curious as to how the snak species arrived in guam. An invasive species really does great harm to the ecology and enviroment which is not the species home habitat. , They shouldnt have let it get to the point where species are extinct due to this nuance.  Just my thoughts.

Edited by Controller Junkie, 05 December 2013 - 06:03 AM.


#13    Myles

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 12:13 PM

Put a bounty out on the snakes.    That could be an ongoing solution.    Worked for the thylacine.


#14    Taun

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 01:20 PM

View PostEldorado, on 05 December 2013 - 01:34 AM, said:

Me too!  My vision was of D-Day and the Normandy Landings, starring mice.  And yep, it was too cute rather than too sad.

A few quick and dirty photo manips - just to have fun with it...

"Waiting for the Ready Light"
Posted Image

Sgt "Squeeks" O'Rodent being awarded the "Silver Cheese Award" for bravely taking out two enemy snakes
Posted Image


I'm sure others could do much better, I was in a hurry... (couldn't find good mouse paw pics to replace the paratroopers hands in the first one)

Edited by Taun, 05 December 2013 - 01:21 PM.


#15    Sundew

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 03:50 AM

Perhaps what is needed to control the population is a specialized snake eating predator. The Mussurana might be a good choice, it is also a snake and like the Brown Tree Snake mildly venomous, but unlike it, it is not aggressive, rarely bites even if handled, and prefers eating other snakes as prey. It is immune to pit viper venom and is used to control pit vipers in areas where both occur naturally. Of course this does not guarantee immunity to Tree Snake venom which, is however, much milder than that of a pit viper. While you might say that now instead of one exotic snake you would have two, the fact is there is not a lot left of indigenous wildlife left on Guam. Being a snake, the Mussurana can follow its prey where man cannot.

Predator prey relationships would balance out at some point; it would not eliminate the problem but would greatly reduce the numbers. The numbers are already declining on Guam but not from predation or poison mice; the snakes have decimated their own food supply.





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