Armageddon for island’s rats: but not on St Helena

Twenty five men and women are spending months camping out on ice-covered South Georgia on what’s been called “the world’s biggest rat cull”.

It is being led by zoologist Anthony Martin, dubbed the Pied Piper, who hopes to poison millions of the rats that have been killing seabirds for 200 years on St Helena’s sister territory in the Southern Ocean.

“If we remove 99.9% of them, we’ve failed,” Professor Martin tells the Wall Street Journal. “We have to get every single animal.”

Sadly, his technique of dumping 200 tons of poison from helicopters cannot be used on St Helena, where some pest controllers were made redundant in 2012 despite complaints of increasing rat sightings.

On South Georgia, it is feared the poison may harm birds that feed  on the ground – just as St Helena’s endangered wirebirds do.

Read the full article here.

SEE ALSO:
Decline that led to wirebird breeding failures
‘I survived rat fever. It’s serious’ – Henry’s story

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