Guam is being forced to take drastic action against an invasive species of poisonous snake. The Brown Tree Snake has devastated local wildlife populations and has threatened many of the country’s indigenous species of birds. So Guam is fighting back.
According to the BBC, Guam plans on parachuting in a bunch of poisoned mice in hopes of killing off the Brown Tree Snake population.
Cheryl Calustro of Guam’s Department of Agriculture, told the BBC in an interview,
“The brown tree snake has had a devastating impact. Ten out of 12 native forest bird species disappeared in 30 years. The birds here evolved without predators. They were quite naive. And when the snake arrived on Guam it ate eggs, juveniles, adults. Whole generations disappeared.”
Birds aren’t the only species to suffer from the snakes wrath. According to a USGS report, the snakes have caused “the extirpation of most of the native forest vertebrate species; thousands of power outages affecting private, commercial, and military activities” along with “considerable emotional trauma to residents and visitors alike.”
To answer critics fears if other species get to the mice first. U.S. Agriculture Department’s assistant state director Dan Vice told the BBC,
“Right now we are using acetaminophen. It’s commonly used as a pain reliever and fever reducer in humans, but it is 100 percent lethal to all brown tree snakes.”
According to the USGA there is really no solid explanation for how they got to the island. There are some who believe they stowed away on military cargo ships that came from Papua New Guinea during World War II.