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Scientists drop poison ‘bombs’ to save kiwi from boomtime rats

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A predicted plague of 30 million rats that threatens to annihilate New Zealand’s kiwi population has prompted authorities to draw up emergency plans to “bomb†vast tracts of the country with poison pellets.


The £10 million operation, dubbed Battle for Our Birds, is designed to head off a once-in-a-lifetime ecological crisis caused by millions of beech trees across the country shedding more seeds than usual.


The extra seeds will, according to scientists, provide a million-tonne food glut that will cause New Zealand’s rat population to explode. Stoats will also multiply, as smaller prey animals feeding on the beech seeds swell in numbers.


If left unchecked, the predators would kill tens of millions of kiwis, the flightless bird emblematic to the country that has inspired the name by which New Zealanders are known.


The full story


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More detail on the rat problem


100,000 Rats, 42 Tonnes of Poison — And One Slightly Nervous World Heritage Island



P.S. There is no mention of global warming in these stories as far as I know so no need for anyone to start hyperventilating.

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I hope they are as certain as ever there will not be untoward consequences...for example, the poisoning of other species that take the bait through death or worse still a DNA altering like effect on non target species that happen upon the bait...and that altered code being transmitted via breeding. Potential for generational cancers, tumors, infertility...etc.


Poison airdrops last century happened with devastating consequences to the environment. 


But what can you do if all options have been considered and rejected as unworkable, to deal with such a problem.


It also only takes two rats escaping off a ship to start the ball rolling again...  

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