Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Travis Tritten of the Armed Forces media outlet, Stars and Stripes, reports that dead mice laced with acetaminophen are being dropped from helicopters over Guam’s forest canopy. Each mouse is attached to two squares of cardboard and a streamer of green paper with the idea that bait would catch in the upper tree branches of the jungle. Research found the pain killer to be toxic to the Brown Treesnake (Boiga irregularis) when it was administered orally. Doses of 10, 20, and 40 mg resulted in mortality rates between 50 and 100%, while doses of 20, 40, and 80 mg resulted in mortality rates of 14.3, 85.7, and 100% respectively. About 200 of the baits and some radio transmitters were dropped from a helicopter on 20 acres of Naval Base Guam on Wednesday as a first test of the system, said Dan Vice, assistant state director of USDA Wildlife Services in Hawaii, Guam and the Pacific Islands. Ground traps, were effective in some areas but were impractical in mountainous areas where foot travel is difficult, overcoming the snake’s terrain required a helicopter and a new paper delivery system. “We’ve already found all the baits,” he said. “We will go out over the next few nights and find out their fate.”The USDA has a grant from the Department of Defense to expand the control efforts on Guam military bases in 2011.
Posted by John Murphy at 5:51 PM