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Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:57 PM

US gov't to air-drop toxic mice on Guam snakes

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (AP) Dead mice laced with painkillers are about to rain down on Guam's jungle canopy. They are scientists' prescription for a headache that has caused the tiny U.S. territory misery for more than 60 years: the brown tree snake.

Most of Guam's native bird species are extinct because of the snake, which reached the island's thick jungles by hitching rides from the South Pacific on U.S. military ships shortly after World War II. There may be 2 million of the reptiles on Guam now, decimating wildlife, biting residents and even knocking out electricity by slithering onto power lines.

More than 3,000 miles away, environmental officials in Hawaii have long feared a similar invasion which in their case likely would be a "snakes on a plane" scenario. That would cost the state many vulnerable species and billions of dollars, but the risk will fall if Guam's air-drop strategy succeeds.

"We are taking this to a new phase," said Daniel Vice, assistant state director of U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services in Hawaii, Guam, and the Pacific Islands. "There really is no other place in the world with a snake problem like Guam."

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http://bigstory.ap.org/article/us-govt-air-drop-toxic-mice-guam-snakes

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Reply US gov't to air-drop toxic mice on Guam snakes (Original post)
n2doc Feb 2013 OP
MadHound Feb 2013 #1
neverforget Feb 2013 #2
MadHound Feb 2013 #3
tblue37 Feb 2013 #4

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:01 PM

1. I might be wrong, but don't snakes eat only prey that is alive at the time of capture? n/t

 

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Response to MadHound (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:08 PM

2. That's what I thought until I read this in the story:

"The strategy takes advantage of the snake's two big weaknesses. Unlike most snakes, brown tree snakes are happy to eat prey they didn't kill themselves, and they are highly vulnerable to acetaminophen, which is harmless to humans."

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Response to neverforget (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:13 PM

3. Well then, it sounds like a good plan,

 

Unless other animals/pets are effected by acetaminophen.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:22 PM

4. Not all snakes. I used to keep milk snakes as pets, and although their favored prey

was five-line skinks (alive), they happily chowed down on warmed up previously frozen pinkie or fuzzy mice.

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