Huge mice threaten the existence of sea birds

Planned campaign for the annihilation of mice in 2020.

Величезні миші загрожують існуванню морських птахів

Giant mouse kills millions of Chicks of sea birds on a remote island in the South Atlantic, threatening the very existence of some rare species.

According to research conducted by the British Royal society for the protection of birds, mice accustomed to eat eggs and Chicks of many millions of birds that live on the island of Gough in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.

Scientists say that without the struggle against mice tractinsky Albatross could be extinct.

Planned campaign for the annihilation of mice in 2020.

The almost uninhabited Gough island is a remote British overseas territory, which is considered one of the most important seabird colonies in the world. Here nisbets more than 10 million birds.

Mice on this island was brought by British sailors in the nineteenth century. Rodents have adapted to the limited resources on a small plot of land and started eating the eggs and Chicks of seabirds.

A surveillance camera recorded how groups of mice up to nine species attack and eat the Chicks alive.

For such a successful hunt, the local mice have become a huge. They are 50% more regular household mouse, reports the BBC.

“A lot of seabirds on Gough are small and nest in burrows,” said Dr. Anthony Caravag from University College in the Irish town of cork.

“The Chicks are smaller and have no way to escape, so any mouse these Chicks are relatively easy prey. The mouse so successfully adapted, which further increased in size and now even attack the Chicks tristancho the Albatross, which are larger in size from juveniles of small sea birds,” explains the scientist.

According to the research of Dr. Karabag, die each year at least two million Chicks.

The biggest concern is the fate of rare species on Gough, particularly tristancho Albatross.

There were only two thousand pairs. Albatrosses mate for life and lay only one egg every two years.

A surveillance camera recorded how the birds returned to their nests with food and found the remains of their Chicks.

“Within a very short period of time tristancho Albatross will be lost, and this also applies to many other species. Although tractinsky Albatross was facing the greatest threat, a large number of other birds, in particular the Atlantic Petrel and prion Makholwa may suffer the same fate, if not to remove the mice,” notes Dr. Karabag.

But if the mouse has adapted to the possible presence of marine birds, sea birds, why not responded to the threat?

“The fact that these birds have evolved on Islands free from predators, and that is why there are so many sea birds,” said Dr. Alex bond from the Museum of natural history, another author of the study.

“Mice can be a new generation twice a year, but for birds such as the Albatross tractinsky who spend their first 10 years of life at sea, you need a lot of time to the behavioural mechanisms earned” – explains the scientist.

The British Royal society for the protection of birds in collaboration with the government of the British archipelago of Tristan da Cunha, which is the guardian of the island, Gough has developed a plan for the complete destruction of the mice.

It needs to be implemented in 2020. Given the location of the island, this is a huge logistical challenge.

The plan provides for the chartering of South Africa, which will carry two helicopters and a cargo of toxic cereal pellets. They will be distributed on the island by helicopters. The granules contain a substance that counteracts blood clotting, which is supposed to kill mice within 24 hours.

“The liberation of the Islands from prying parasitic species have already done about 700 Islands in the world. This is not some new thing, this is a proven technique that can provide the solution that we need,” notes Dr. Alex bond.


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