Just Feedin’ the Snakes, Boss…

In a spectacularly creative effort to rid Guam of an invasive species, the US Department of Agriculture is planning to ‘bomb’ the island’s rainforests with dead frozen mice laced with acetaminophen. The mice-bombs are meant to target the brown tree snake, an invasive species which has ravaged local wildlife, and angered local residents, since arriving in the 1940s.

The idea is to poison snakes by getting them to ingest the acetaminophen-containing rats. In sufficient dosages, Acetaminophen, the primary ingredient in Tylenol, can cause liver failure in snakes (and humans, for that matter). Initially mice were tested with a variety of ‘delivery systems’ until researchers with the National Wildlife Researcher Center in Fort Collins, Colorado settled on a streamer attached to cardboard on which the mouse is affixed via glue.

This contraption is meant to catch in the tree tops: perfectly positioning itself for hungry brown tree snakes.


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