Guam – An Associated Press article about mice drops planned for Guam this spring made its rounds in the national media over the weekend.
The articles are about a U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services Program that uses dead mice laced with acetaminophen to bait the invasive brown tree snake to its death.
Its not a new program the USDA has actually been working on this technology for nearly a decade and did a pilot drop on Naval Base Guam in September of 2010. More drops are planned for this spring on Andersen Air Force Base.
While the U.S. Department of Agriculture works to eliminate the brown tree snake the Guam Department of Agriculture has been busy working to save the ecosystem the snake has nearly destroyed.
“The brown tree snake coming in and impacting the bird population has also had cascading effects on the rest of the ecosystem in Guam,” said Wildlife Biologist Diane Vice explaining that the snake is responsible for nearly wiping out Guam’s native bird population. “Loosing the bird population has impacted our native trees. Some trees, their seeds need to be dispersed by birds or even just eaten, consumed, and pooped out somewhere and the process of that seed going through their body is necessary in order for that seed to germinate and so there’s been huge impacts on our native forests and the regeneration of that that forest.”
The brown tree snake first arrived on Guam as a stowaway in cargo in late 1940’s or early 1950’s and its believed two million snakes live on island today. But with so much focus on the brown tree snake in the national media, the Guam Department of Agriculture assures those not familiar with Guam that its still a place worth visiting.
“You can live on Guam for five years and never see a snake,” Diane Vice said. “They’re out at night, they’re cryptic Guam is a beautiful tropical island.”