PREDATOR PEST: One Million ‘Out of Control’ Mice, Threatening Survival of Several Sea Bird Species in South African Island, Are Set for Extermination

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Written By Maya Cantina

Mice are considered to be one of the most ‘successful’ animals in the world, and managed to get to many different places they are not native to.

Naturally, the mice ‘success’ is very often a catastrophe for other species.

It has arisen that over a million ‘out of control’ mice are wrecking havoc on the sea bird population on the small South African Marion Island, in the Indian Ocean.

The birds don’t have natural defense mechanisms against this invasive species, and may just sit there while mice eat away at them.

The rodents, that were accidentally introduced to Marion Island 200 years ago and bred wildly, are now set for complete extermination.

Sky News reported:

“Now conservationists are taking drastic action on the tiny island situated in the sub-Antarctic Indian Ocean, between Antarctica and South Africa – with no margin for error.

The Mouse-Free Marion project – pest control on a grand scale – will see up to six helicopters drop 550 tons of rat poison across the island. But if even one pregnant mouse survives, their prolific breeding ability means it may have all been for nothing.

The island is home to globally significant populations of nearly 30 bird species and a rare undisturbed habitat for wandering albatrosses – with their 10-foot wingspan – and many others.”

Read more about invasive species in COCAINE HIPPOS: Brought Into Colombia by Drug Lord Pablo Escobar 40 Years Ago, the ‘Invasive Species’ Is Breeding Out of Control and Has Started Attacking People.

But ‘stowaway house mice’ arrived on the Island via seal hunter ships in the early 1800s. The island’s first mammal predators vastly multiplied, and totally upended the local ecosystem.

“Rough estimates indicate there are more than a million mice on the island, an uninhabited South African territory. They are feeding on invertebrates and, more and more, on seabirds – both chicks in their nests and adults.”

One single mouse can reportedly feed on a bird several times its size.

If nothing is done, as many as 19 seabird species are feared to disappear from the island in 50 to 100 years.

“The bait that will be used to kill the mice has been designed to not affect the soil or the island’s water sources. It shouldn’t harm the seabirds, who feed out at sea, and won’t have negative impacts for the environment, Dr Wolfaardt said. Some animals will be affected at an individual level, but those species will recover, he added.”

The complete rat massacre on Marion Island is projected to take place in 2027.

Read more about invasive species:

Here Come the ‘Super Pigs’: Wild Crossbreed Boars Are Spreading Out of Control, Down From Canada to Northern US

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