Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Escape from Rat Island

March 3rd, 2009 · 3 Comments

ratislandYesterday’s post about southeastern Bangladesh’s rodent invasion got me searching for recent example of rat-eradication campaigns. The hunt led me to Rat Island, Alaska, one of the remotest Aleutian Islands, where rats were introduced via shipwreck in the late 1700s. They’re since destroyed the vast majority of the island’s seabirds, and their pace of destruction has only increased since the fox population was removed in 1984.

So what to do? Round up a whole bunch of brodifacoum, some helicopters, and a bevy of “specialized bait-spreading buckets.” Then do your dirty work during the late fall or early spring, when the lady rats are pregnant. And watch out for the sea lions.

More on Rat Island’s anti-rat campaign here (PDF). We can win, and we will win.

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