Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Year of the Rat Starts Badly in Guam

The USDA plans on poisoning hundreds or even thousands of rats on the Cocos Island (off the southern tip of Guam) in order to create a reserve for the endangered ko'ko bird, commonly known as the Guam rail.

Concern has been raised about the method of extermination.

Barrigada resident Viqui Gayer has collected 50 signatures against the use of the poisons, which she worries will spread through rodent predators to the oceans, and eventually to humans. Gayer said she started researching the poisons on the Internet after her dog died from eating a poisoned rat.

"It was a horrible way to die. I wouldn't even wish it on a rat," she said.

"These poisons are unnecessary. ... It kills animals, and whatever eats those animals also gets poisoned. It never ends. Once it's in the ecosystem, it stays there. ... What we need to do is stop people from bringing this poison to our island -- period."

Gayer suggested placing poisonless traps on Cocos as a safe alternative, but {USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services Assistant State Director David} Vice said traps would be ineffective.

"The thing about rodent eradication is if you miss one, you've failed," he said. "Trapping alone -- given all we've learned about rodents -- won't get rid of all the rodents."

The public has until March 1 to comment on the plan.

Photo by KiriS.


Anonymous said...

Rats can be erradicated with non toxic traps. the article in the Pacific Daily News is biased.
It so happens that the owner of the company standing to profit from bringing the toxins that will linger and harm the environment, is a regular advertizer in that newspaper.

Anonymous said...

Crabs will eat the dead rats and seem unaffected but the people who eat those crabs will suffer secondary poisoning from the poison in the crabs from the rat flesh they ate. Unfortunately the article fails to mention rats are drawn to water due to tremendous thirst during the torturous dead caused by the rat poison to be used at Cocos Island off Guam.

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