Rats, pests and the Galapagos Islands

6 Jul

I recently read a very interesting article by Bell Laboratories in The Bell Report about rats at the Galapagos Islands.  Bell Laboratories were recently awarded the Wisconsin Business Friend of the Environment award for developing a bait used to eradicate invasive rats on the Galapagos Islands.

So many people assume that pest control is all about rat and mole catching and miss that pest control very much supports wildlife and the environment.

The Galapagos project was run by the Galapagos National Park Service with assistance from California-based Island Conservation, the Charles Darwin Foundation, the Raptor Center of the University of Minnesota and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.  Bell Laboraties developed a bait that would withstand the rigors of aerial application yet breaks down into inert components reasonably quickly.  A helicopter was equipped with a bait spreader basket that broadcast ten tons of a pelleted bait on several small islands and islets in the archipelago.  This was the first large-scale rat eradication project ever conducted on oceanic islands in South America and over the next 20 to 25 years, the project aims to eliminate invasive Norway rats, roof rats and house mice from this most delicate of ecosystems.

So, if you think that pest control is all about a man with his trouser bottoms tied up with string carrying a ferret, then maybe it’s time to think again!

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