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US authorities believe that the use of rat medicine is the best way to prevent rats from raging on the Farallon group.
The US Department of Fish and Wildlife Protection (FWS) said on July 7 that it is proposing to use 1.5 tons of rat poison to erase thousands of mice and invasive species that harm the system Indigenous ecology on the Farallon island group, about 48 km from California’s San Francisco coast.
The FWS shows that mice can spread invasive plants and attract grasslands to islands. The owl not only ate rats but also hunted insects and seagulls, a rare bird of Farallon.
The California Coastal Commission will hold a public hearing on July 10 to determine whether the use of rat poison is the best measure. FWS said it has reviewed many measures and found that the use of rat poison is the most effective way, proving that 28 of the 30 rat-killing projects they conducted since 2007 have been successful.
The agency also said that any poison that falls into the water will melt quickly or sink to the bottom. They also temporarily removed some birds from the island group until their risk of swallowing the poison decreased.
While many conservationists agree on the need to prevent invasive mouse populations, some are concerned that the poison could harm other animals on the island. “This is like using a hunting rifle to shoot an ant,” said Richard Charter of Ocean Fund.
There are about 59,000 mice on the Farallon island group. FWS will use rat medicine next year if the proposal is approved. “If we don’t trust this option to bring significant benefits to the island and ensure safety and efficiency, we will not recommend it,” said FWS spokesman Doug Cordell.