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Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:04 PM

US plan to control Guam's snake population with toxic mice angers Peta

Source: The Guardian

Animal rights activists have dismissed as "absurd" and "cruel" the American government's plans to bombard Guam from the air with toxic dead mice in a bid to curtail the spread of invasive snakes.

The US air drop over the the Pacific island is due to commence in the spring, and is aimed at addressing the problems caused by non-native brown tree snakes. Having hitched a ride to the island some 60 years ago on military ships, the colony of reptiles have been deemed responsible for killing off native bird species, biting human inhabitants and knocking out electricity by slithering onto power lines.

Meanwhile, in Hawaii – some 3,000 miles away – environmentalists fear a similar invasion from the snakes, possibly through unwitting transportation in aircraft that have spent time on Guam.

But the US Department of Agriculture's plans to reduce the number of brown tree snakes in Guam – population estimates reach up to 2m – have been attacked by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta).

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/24/us-guam-snakes-mice-peta

48 replies, 5481 views

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Reply US plan to control Guam's snake population with toxic mice angers Peta (Original post)
alp227 Feb 2013 OP
Drale Feb 2013 #1
Archae Feb 2013 #3
Drale Feb 2013 #6
cstanleytech Feb 2013 #7
Archae Feb 2013 #8
caseymoz Feb 2013 #21
Confusious Feb 2013 #25
caseymoz Feb 2013 #39
NickB79 Feb 2013 #40
KamaAina Feb 2013 #47
ThomThom Feb 2013 #9
BadtotheboneBob Feb 2013 #10
ThomThom Feb 2013 #12
NutmegYankee Feb 2013 #16
ThomThom Feb 2013 #17
Confusious Feb 2013 #24
DeSwiss Feb 2013 #33
Archae Feb 2013 #2
SCVDem Feb 2013 #4
modrepub Feb 2013 #5
slackmaster Feb 2013 #11
caseymoz Feb 2013 #22
SCVDem Feb 2013 #26
Scootaloo Feb 2013 #13
FailureToCommunicate Feb 2013 #14
Xithras Feb 2013 #42
lordsummerisle Feb 2013 #15
caseymoz Feb 2013 #23
EastKYLiberal Feb 2013 #18
wtmusic Feb 2013 #19
TheBlackAdder Feb 2013 #20
DeSwiss Feb 2013 #34
TheBlackAdder Feb 2013 #36
DeSwiss Feb 2013 #43
Sunlei Feb 2013 #46
longship Feb 2013 #27
happyslug Feb 2013 #28
indie9197 Feb 2013 #32
happyslug Feb 2013 #38
snort Feb 2013 #37
IrishAyes Feb 2013 #29
Nanjing to Seoul Feb 2013 #30
LeftInTX Feb 2013 #31
BlueCollar Feb 2013 #35
BainsBane Feb 2013 #41
Mz Pip Feb 2013 #44
Tom Ripley Feb 2013 #45
Babette Feb 2013 #48

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:12 PM

1. This does not sound smart because

instead of snakes, now they are going to have a population of toxic mice and who's to say how they will effect the other animals in the environment. On a side note, Fuck PETA, they do more harm to animals than good. They kill more dogs every year than they save and they are arrogant rich assholes to boot.

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Response to Drale (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:13 PM

3. Toxic DEAD mice.

Just FYI.

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Response to Archae (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:15 PM

6. O I didn't catch that

still other things could eat those dead mice, birds for instance and die as a result.

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Response to Drale (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:28 PM

7. I think the birds (and their eggs) might be at risk from living breathing snakes more.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:37 PM

8. They are.

I read a report about those brown snakes decimating native bird species.

http://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/birds/facts/factsheets/fact-guambirds.cfm

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Response to Drale (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 10:31 PM

21. They've poison them with Tylenol,


which is poisonous only to the snakes.

It's actually a pretty good plan, except the snakes might gain a resistance to tylenol pretty easily.

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Response to caseymoz (Reply #21)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 10:37 PM

25. Doubtful

That only works with bacteria, because they are so simple and reproduce so quickly.

Snakes would have to be subjected to it for a few hundred generations before it would stop working.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 02:55 PM

39. Bacteria, and bed bugs, and cockroaches, and rats.


and mice, and mosquitos, and fleas, and dozens of agricultural pests.

In other words, not just bacteria. It's been shown in a lot of different species. It's not a matter of how complex the organism is, not when you're talking about a single, poisonous molecule. You are correct that it's a function of the number of generations; however, it's also a function of starting population size.

And one thing these snakes have is a large starting population.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 02:58 PM

40. Not true. Rodents developed a resistance to rat poison fairly quickly

Many rat populations are now unaffected by warfarin, for example, because they quickly developed resistance within a few generations: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090205214433.htm

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Response to Drale (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:27 PM

47. There are no native birds left

the snakes ate all their eggs.

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Response to Archae (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:02 PM

9. I didn't think snakes eat dead animals

Don't they like them wiggling?

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Response to ThomThom (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:09 PM

10. These particular snakes do eat animals...

... hence the dead mice. The invasive snake species has been a scourge upon Guam and its avifauna. Drastic times call for drastic measures.

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Response to BadtotheboneBob (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:17 PM

12. dead ones?

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Response to ThomThom (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:42 PM

16. The brown tree snake will eat dead animals.

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #16)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:45 PM

17. thank you for responding

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Response to Archae (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 10:35 PM

24. Toxic only to the snake

acetaminophen loaded mice.

Different species have problems with different things. Dogs and Chocolate for example.

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Response to Drale (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 01:57 AM

33. The mice ARE ALREADY DEAD.

So they can't become a population of ''toxic mice.''

The mice will be covered with acetaminophen which is toxic brown snakes.

They will be dropped from helicopters with flotation streamers attached to their bodies to catch in the tree tops and avoid being dispersed beyond the trees which is where the brown snake lives.

It is possible to use this approach only because the brown snake is one of the few reptiles that will eat something it hasn't killed itself.

Most of the time I like where PETA comes from as a rule. The human race is horrendous to it's fellow Earthly inhabitants. However, in this case they're wrong. The damned snakes should never have been on the island of Guam in the first place. That was American ignorance that accomplished that. As it now stands there are already several species of bird and small mammal in Guam that are now extinct because of these snakes. link

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:12 PM

2. Screw that bunch of wackos!

PETA gets their views of nature from watching Disney's "Bambi."

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:13 PM

4. Peta vs The Audubon Society

Peta should pick their battles more wisely.

The dead mice have acetominephan, hardly toxic to anything except the snakes. Plus the mice will be in the canopy.

Not much left there anyway.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:14 PM

5. Brown Tree Snake is BAD NEWS

That's why most of Guam's birds reside in zoos on the main land. From what I understand the drop is concentrated on the main commercial airport in an attempt to thin out the snake population in the jungles around the airport. This should lessen the chance the snakes get transported via airplanes to another island.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:10 PM

11. The mice will breed so quickly, they'll capsize the island

 

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 10:32 PM

22. They can't. They're dead.


It's one of the few snakes that will scavenge.

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Response to caseymoz (Reply #22)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:06 PM

26. Zombie Mice! nt

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:18 PM

13. Uh-oh, this calls for another naked celebrity jello wrestling contest!

Or whatever the fuck PETA does these days.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:32 PM

14. These snakes actually learn how to hitchhike into the landing gear of

planes bringing supplies to the islands. They can island hop anywhere. They are really BAD NEWS!

This crazy activity was described to me by the head of invasive species, Department of the Interior.

(Talk about 'MF snakes on the plane'!!)

PETA needs to just sit down about this solution.

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Response to FailureToCommunicate (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 03:44 PM

42. The Brown Tree was actually the inspiration for the movie "Snakes on a Plane".

Funny that you brought that up. The guy who wrote it came up with the idea for the movie after reading an article about brown tree snakes climbing into aircraft landing gear! The original version of the story had the plane being overrun by brown tree snakes that had climbed onto the aircraft before takeoff. It was revised later to include different snakes, and a generally different plot, but the Brown Tree Snake started it all.

And for cursing us with that alone, I feel little pity for this species

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:33 PM

15. Being upset about

controlling the brown tree snake is like being upset about controlling the flu virus.

I also thought that this snake was under control, but I guess not...I was in Guam two years ago and saw some snake traps and a local said that the snakes were less of a problem.

I also wonder why they don't just sterilize a bunch of male snakes and release them into the wild; I suspect it's a lot harder to implement than it sounds though...

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Response to lordsummerisle (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 10:34 PM

23. Sterilizing them is sort of labor intensive.


And the snakes bite.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:49 PM

18. There's always some kind of whacko objection to reasonable solutions.

 

People need to get in the mindset of supporting things only because they work and rejecting things that don't work.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 10:22 PM

19. "Brown tree snakes did not ask to be stowaways on planes or ships

and then forced to survive on a foreign island."

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 10:25 PM

20. If people didn't bring invasive animals into a country, this wouldn't be needed.

Just look at the Mississippi River from the Great Lakes to the Gulf.. 1/3 of the US river system is inundated with Asian Carp (aka Asian Flying Fish). They have NO natural predator and consume all local fish and small birds they can get a hold of. When there is no food, they will feast on each other. The fish really can't be eaten either.

What's worse, these "animal lovers" are going to Asian food markets and buying the live fish and throwing them into the Hudson River, the Arthur Kill and the Kill Van Kull. Soon, 1/2 of American waterways will just have ONE fish in them. These "animal lovers" are causing mass genocide of domestic wildlife.

Canada is freaking out because the only thing that is stopping the Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes and infiltrating Canadian rivers is an electronic fence which allows the ships to enter the lakes, but it keeps the fish out. If that system fails... all is lost.

Go to YouTube and watch how invasive these fish are.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #20)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 02:22 AM

34. Well, part of that's true....

...invasive species is never good idea. Looked what happened to North and South America!

But it's not true that they have no natural predator: MAN.

Likewise, it is my understanding that they're not only delicious but that they've decided to make lemonade from all these lemons and sell them back to the people in the countries where they came from to begin with.

- Maybe even hungry Americans might use a few.....

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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #34)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:32 AM

36. On the contrary... Asian Carp are not delicious. There is little US market for them. eom

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #36)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 09:18 PM

43. Also, they're not carnivores eating other fish....

...to extinction, nor each other when no other fish are around. They're plankton eaters which is why they were brought here in the first place. Bad idea of course, but there you have it: Facts. They may eat other plankton-eating fish into extinction by out-eating them but not by having them for lunch. And still, they have no place in an eco-system that developed w/o them in it.

As food

Asian carp have been a popular food fish in Asia for thousands of years. However, many people in North America associate all carp with common carp, a bottom-feeding, worse-tasting species that was introduced from Eurasia in the 1800's commonly not classified as food. The pearly white flesh - complicated by a series of bones - is said to taste like cod or described as tasting like a cross between scallops and crabmeat. They are low in mercury because they do not eat other fish. To make the fish more appealing to American consumers, the fish have been renamed silverfin or Kentucky tuna. Volunteer efforts to increase the popularity further include making and selling carp-based dishes and using the entrails to make fertilizer. Some have thought to collect the carp eggs for caviar, since one bighead carp was found with over 2 million eggs. Two million eggs from one fish could fill two jars of caviar, which would be quite valuable. This is only true, however, in the case of a fish from which people would eat eggs. As of now, there is no market for carp eggs in America, though there is a movement that is trying to increase the popularity of carp eggs in Europe. link


- Apparently the people in the above video don't know what delicious tastes like either. Thank you for clearing things up for them.....

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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #34)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:43 PM

46. good video, thanks for posting. We have lots of those carp in texas, that food company looks great!

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:09 AM

27. Having a fucking fried egg in the morning angers PETA!

Screw PETA.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:18 AM

28. What do they want Pigs?

The general rule to get rid of snakes is to move in Pigs. Pigs LOVE snakes, find them delicious. The problem with pigs is to they do other damage, the advantage is they are quite large and thus easy to hunt.

These tree snakes cause a problem, they are tree living snakes, which makes them harder for the pigs to get to. Pigs use they nose to find the snakes. You may have to feed the pigs to keep them alive, the snakes then become a snack, this dual system, permit more pigs to eat more snakes (the pigs do not have to depend on snakes as food, thus more pigs after fewer snakes).


Damage caused by pigs:
http://wildpiginfo.msstate.edu/damage-caused-by-pigs.html
http://www.mvariety.com/special-features/green-tips/53727-the-plight-of-the-pacific-tree-snails
http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/762411.shtml

The problem is how BEST to get rid of these snakes, I hate to say this, but a double hit of these mice AND pigs would be better then one alone (with searches and even cutting down trees helping the removal of the snakes).

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Response to happyslug (Reply #28)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 01:26 AM

32. How do the pigs get up in the canopy

where the "tree" snakes hang out? Why not put a bounty on the snakes and put some people to work?

I think the mice is a pretty good idea too.

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Response to indie9197 (Reply #32)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 01:19 PM

38. Tree snakes are NOT 100% Tree living.

Thus my comment about cutting down the trees (and that is a side affect of using pigs). Worse pigs root up the ground so much, it is hard for trees to root.

I mentioned pigs as an alternative, but using pigs has problems, as does any solution to this problem.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #28)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:41 AM

37. Using pigs with headaches

would be the most humane of all.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:33 AM

29. PETA?

You mean the group known as "People Eating Tasty Animals?" known to First Americans as 'bad hunters'?

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:37 AM

30. PETA: Giving Animal Rights activists a bad name since their inception!

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:53 AM

31. From USDA website:


The brown tree snake has caused extensive economic and ecological damage to Guam. It is responsible for numerous power outages across the island each year.

The brown tree snake is an opportunistic feeder and has caused the extirpation or extinction of most of Guam’s native forest birds and lizards.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 06:01 AM

35. PETA is wrong on this issue

This program makes sense and is necessary

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 03:35 PM

41. fuck PETA

I hate snakes.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 12:06 AM

44. PETA is also complaining

about the python hunts in Florida. Those snakes are nasty too and are not native to the region.

I don't know what PETA expects should be done. It's not like you can just politely ask the snakes to self deport.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:26 PM

45. Why don't they just mount tiny deadly lasers on the heads of the mice?

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:28 PM

48. I currently live on Guam...

The snake population needs to be kept in check. Imagine hiking through a beautiful jungle- and it's completely silent. No birds are here to sing.

The native bird population is almost completely wiped out. There are no more kingfishers, megapodes, chichiricas or Mariana fruit doves here. The Guam flycatcher- found nowhere else- is extinct. The Guam ko'ko bird only exists because of captive breeding programs. The last Mariana Crow has been missing since last year, probably gone. There are still a few individuals on Rota, but they are not doing well. We do have some invasive species of birds- sparrows and francolins, and some birds that migrate through the area.

The Ecology of Bird Loss project (http://hsr3.web.rice.edu/) is studying the impact of removing native birds from their forests. Birds act as seed-dispersers and sometimes pollinators, so some species of trees are in decline. A decrease in bird population means an increase in spider populations.

Someone mentioned pigs upthread. Guam has a big problem with feral pigs. The pigs are destructive to farmer's fields and can be dangerous. Recently a dog belonging to a friend was disemboweled in his yard by a feral pig. (Luckily, the dog survived, but it was touch and go) My mother is afraid to go out to the avocado tree early in the morning because of the wild pigs. The pigs are not impacting the snake population at all, but are impacting the limestone forests and causing erosion.

The plan to drop poisoned mice is looked at with humor and horror here. Right now the program is in testing stage. I believe the mice will be dropped on Andersen South and the snake population monitored. If it works it will be tried over a larger area. No one likes the idea of having dead mice dropped on us, but no one likes the snakes. We certainly don't want other islands such as Saipan or Hawaii to lose their birds.

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