Tags: mice | airdropped | guam | toxin | kill | snakes

Mice Airdropped on Guam Full of Toxin To Kill Brown Tree Snakes

Image: Mice Airdropped on Guam Full of Toxin To Kill Brown Tree Snakes U.S. military service member holds a Brown Tree Snake at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

Wednesday, 04 Dec 2013 08:42 AM

By Alexandra Ward

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Scientists launched yet another mice drop on Guam Sunday, sending 2,000 toxic-laced rodents raining down on the U.S. territory in an attempt to kill off the huge population of brown tree snakes that's wreaking havoc on the island's Andersen Air Force Base.

The air assault marked the fourth mice drop since February, when the U.S. approved an $8 million program to try and eradicate Guam's 2 million snakes and help save its exotic native bird population — one of the reptiles' favorite meals, according to NBC News.

Andersen Air Force Base also wants the snakes gone because the legless creatures keep sliding into the complex's electrical substations and causing an average of 80 power outages a year, the Interior Department estimated in 2005, which can cost up to $4 million in annual repairs.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

U.S. officials have been trying for years to get the number of brown tree snakes in Guam under control, but the mice drop strategy is the only thing that seems to be working.

"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.

Scientists discovered earlier this year that snakes have a curious sensitivity to acetaminophen, which is the active ingredient in Tylenol. In fact, just 80 milligrams (about one-sixth the size of a standard pill) is enough to kill one.

So wildlife workers are collecting dead mice, pumping them full of painkillers, and then dropping them via cardboard parachutes into the forest canopy where the snakes can easily access them.

The mice drop technique is especially efficient because it doesn't pose a threat to other animals. Dogs, pigs, or other animals would have to consume 500 of the Tylenol-poisoned mice to feel any negative effects.

"One reason acetaminophen is so effective for snakes is that it's very low toxicity to other organisms," Dan Vice, U.S. Department of Agriculture assistant state director supervisory wildlife biologist, told KUAM. "Of all the organisms in the forest to be concerned about the monitor lizards, the iguanas is probably the one that is potentially at risk but because the baits are hung up in the forest canopy and not distributed on the floor the monitors aren't going to encounter the baits with great frequency the monitors climb trees but they tend not to feed in trees."

Editor's Note: ObamaCare Is Here. Are You Prepared?

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Tapeworm in Brain of Man for 4 Years Removed by Surgeons

Saturday, 22 Nov 2014 17:33 PM

A tapeworm that not only lived in a man's brain for four years but traveled from one side of the brain to the other has  . . .

Window Washer's 11-Story Fall Ends Atop Car - He Survived!

Saturday, 22 Nov 2014 17:14 PM

A window washer survived with critical injuries after falling 11 stories from the roof of a San Francisco bank building  . . .

Georgia O'Keefe $44 Million Painting Most for Woman Artist

Saturday, 22 Nov 2014 16:49 PM

A new world auction record for women artists was set when a painting by late American artist Georgia O'Keeffe sold for m . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved