To save rare seabirds, US officials to air drop 3,000 pounds of rat poison on coastal islands

WION Web Team
New York Published: Dec 19, 2021, 03:00 PM(IST)

California Coastal Commission in the United States to air drop rat poison to curb mice population on the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge (representative image). Photograph:( Twitter )

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To save rare seabirds, the California Coastal Commission in the United States has given a go ahead to a plan for air dropping rat poison on the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. It will help in curbing mice population on the islands. This agency, which regulates coastline of California, approved the idea by voting 5-3 in its favour 

In an attempt to save rare seabirds, the California Coastal Commission in the United States has given a go ahead to a plan for air dropping rat poison on the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. It will help in curbing mice population on the islands. 

This agency, which regulates coastline of California, approved the idea by voting 5-3 in its favour on Thursday night. 

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According to the plan, around 3,000 pounds of rat poison will be air dropped from helicopters on the rocky islands off San Francisco coast, which are home to innumerable breeding birds.  

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This move, however, will also need approval from US Fish and Wildlife Service regional director. Even then, it may take around two years before the programme actually gets underway, the officials said.   

The around 300,000-strong breeding seabirds at Farallon Islands refuge are being threatened by mice, which arrived at the island aboard ships over a century ago.  

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In recent years, the population of mouse has exploded, which has attracted burrowing owls. These owls also prey on the ashy storm-petrel, the officials said.  

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At the meeting, Gerry McChesney, manager, wildlife refuge, said, "This project is necessary and is the right thing to do to stop the ecosystem carnage done by mice: A human-caused problem."  

(With inputs from agencies) 

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