Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Govt To Bomb Guam With Frozen Mice To Kill Snakes

samzenpus posted about 4 years ago | from the rodent-rain dept.

Government 229

rhettb writes "In a spectacularly creative effort to rid Guam of the brown tree snake, an invasive species which has ravaged local wildlife and angered local residents, the US Department of Agriculture is planning to 'bomb' the island's rainforests with dead frozen mice laced with acetaminophen. While it might not seem difficult to purge an island of snakes, the snake's habit of dwelling high in the rainforest canopy has so far thwarted efforts to rid the island of the pest. Eradicating the snake is a priority because it triggers more than 100 power outages a year at a cost of $1-4 million and has driven at least 6 local bird species to extinction."

cancel ×

229 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I guess they'll die (5, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | about 4 years ago | (#33747004)

They dropped the gorillas to stomp the lions, the dropped the lions to hunt the dogs, the dropped the dogs to chase the cats, they dropped the cats to catch the mice, the dropped the mice to kill the snakes, but I don't know why they swallowed that fly.

Re:I guess they'll die (1)

malloc (30902) | about 4 years ago | (#33747172)

You are awesome. :)

Re:I guess they'll die (1)

noidentity (188756) | about 4 years ago | (#33747300)

I knew I could count on someone to deliver the parent post. Exactly what I came here for. Thanks.

Re:I guess they'll die (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33747308)

I don't think frozen mice will be breeding anytime soon. Coming back as zombies maybe...

Don't drop too many frozen mice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33747790)

...or Guam might capsize [youtube.com] .

Re:I guess they'll die (0)

thijsh (910751) | about 4 years ago | (#33747812)

They accidentally the mice.

Re:I guess they'll die (1)

northernfrights (1653323) | about 4 years ago | (#33747830)

Haha, cute, but the mice are dead, and the classic scenario will not apply...

Re:I guess they'll die (1)

catmistake (814204) | about 4 years ago | (#33748036)

Haha, cute, but the mice are dead, and the classic scenario will not apply...

and what about the (black) plague fleas, Mr. Smartypants?

Re:I guess they'll die (1)

somersault (912633) | about 4 years ago | (#33748104)

That's what the genetically modified spiders are for!

This Failed in NYC (2, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 4 years ago | (#33748170)

NYC tried this kind of stupid stunt to attack our rats with imported possums [nypost.com] . The possums didn't kill the rats, and now Brooklyn is infested with rats and possums.

I expect Guam will remain overrun by snakes, and get overrun by mice. So they'll send in the possums, and Guam will be overrun by snakes, mice and possums.

Why can't we learn that simple attacks on complex problems often just make the problem more complex? Hamfisted slaps at nature always have unintended consequences.

Re:This Failed in NYC (2, Informative)

Straterra (1045994) | about 4 years ago | (#33748220)

I don't know where you live, but where I'm from dead, frozen mice don't do any kind of (over)running. I think freezing them counts as "simple."

Re:This Failed in NYC (4, Interesting)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | about 4 years ago | (#33748318)

It got worse in australia.

Some settler wanted to hunt rabbits because he wanted sports, so he imported and released a few. Sure enough they quickly bred like, well, rabbits. Having no enemies, their numbers overwhelmed the unaccustomed australian outback.

So they imported foxes to eat them. But the foxes quickly discovered native species were slower and easier prey, so now the flora AND fauna was threatened.

So they developed a rabbit cancer called Myxomatosis and unleashed it on australian rabbits. Which made its wayt back to europe, ravaging rabbit populations THERE.

All because some australian dude was bored for some sport.

Re:I guess they'll die (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33748192)

Awesome.

Re:I guess they'll die (3, Funny)

Beorytis (1014777) | about 4 years ago | (#33748212)

They dropped the gorillas

I guess winter isn't cold enough in Guam, otherwise the Gorillas would simply freeze to death. [wikipedia.org]

Don't you have to be a saint to do that? (4, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | about 4 years ago | (#33747016)

While it might not seem difficult to purge an island of snakes

For a saint...

Or Chinese... (5, Funny)

TheLink (130905) | about 4 years ago | (#33747098)

Just spread some rumour to the Chinese that the rare "Guam strain" is good for erectile dysfunction, "general health" or whatever, and it'll soon be close enough to extinction. ;).

Re:Or Chinese... (1)

catmistake (814204) | about 4 years ago | (#33748046)

perfect!

Re:Don't you have to be a saint to do that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33748044)

I thought all Guam "where America's Day Begins" really had to do was eliminate welfare/unemployment payments for a year and place a couple dollars, or so, bounty on each snake head brought in.

Just like the Passanger Pigeon, and everything else worth killing for money or eats, they'd extinct those critters real quick.

And if you happen to be on Guam (5, Funny)

Megahard (1053072) | about 4 years ago | (#33747072)

And have a headache, just grab the nearest dead frozen mouse.

Re:And if you happen to be on Guam (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 years ago | (#33747640)

Since they're stuffed with acetaminophen / paracetamol / Tylenol (whatever you like to call it) that just might work.

Then again, it might not.

Re:And if you happen to be on Guam (1)

catmistake (814204) | about 4 years ago | (#33748078)

Since they're stuffed with acetaminophen / paracetamol / Tylenol (whatever you like to call it)

I prefer APAP, just because it sounds dirty

Acetaminophen (1, Funny)

pem (1013437) | about 4 years ago | (#33747092)

I guess all those warnings about how Tylenol can damage your liver are true!

Re:Acetaminophen (0, Troll)

jedidiah (1196) | about 4 years ago | (#33747160)

Nevermind about liver damage. Tylenol is rediculously easy to overdose on. That is probably what this tactic is based on.

Tylenol is bad news. Probably shouldn't even be on the market.

Re:Acetaminophen (4, Informative)

PeterM from Berkeley (15510) | about 4 years ago | (#33747244)

You're right about the dangers of tylenol, it's bad especially combined with any other drug/chemical that strains your liver.

However, it's the only painkiller known safe for pregnant women. All the rest of 'em? Not so good!

--PM

Re:Acetaminophen (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 4 years ago | (#33747580)

Cannabis is an effective and non-toxic analgesic. Every medicine cabinet should have some cannabis extract for general aches and pains, insomnia, stomach upset, and many other mild ailments.

Re:Acetaminophen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33747644)

many other mild ailments.

Like Mondayssuckititis?

Re:Acetaminophen (1)

Sir_Dill (218371) | about 4 years ago | (#33747680)

many other mild ailments.

Like Mondays?

There....Fixed that for you.

Re:Acetaminophen (1)

delinear (991444) | about 4 years ago | (#33747708)

It's ideal for chill-blains [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Acetaminophen (1, Insightful)

Achra (846023) | about 4 years ago | (#33747714)

Cannabis is an effective and non-toxic analgesic. Every medicine cabinet should have some cannabis extract for general aches and pains, insomnia, stomach upset, and many other mild ailments.

Many other mild ailments.. uh huh, like boredom? Never mind that it's habit forming as hell. ;) (And also never mind that the GP specifically mentions safety during pregnancy... lol).

Re:Acetaminophen (4, Informative)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | about 4 years ago | (#33747912)

It's not physically addictive at all, and no more habit-forming than anything else that's fun.

Re:Acetaminophen (1, Insightful)

Achra (846023) | about 4 years ago | (#33748142)

It's not physically addictive at all, and no more habit-forming than anything else that's fun.

Bullshit. This is a classic line espoused by chronic marijuana users. The fact is that when you quit, most people experience anxiety, extreme agitation, loss of appetite, and even nightmares for several days afterwards.

Re:Acetaminophen (2, Insightful)

adavies42 (746183) | about 4 years ago | (#33748190)

I get that when I turn off the air conditioner. Does that make cold air addictive?

Re:Acetaminophen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33748288)

LMAO. No they don't.

Re:Acetaminophen (3, Informative)

catmistake (814204) | about 4 years ago | (#33748330)

The withdrawal from marijuana is nothing at all compared to the withdrawal from coffee, or even television. What you incorrectly believe was actually entirely made up by racists in the 1920s, and perpetuated by McCarthyists. To say cannabis incurs no withdrawal whatsoever would be more correct than exaggerating the extremely minor, usually unnoticed, symptoms.

Even Federal Judges at the DEA, reviewing the testimony of experts, have deemed that it is relativey [ccguide.org] harmless, [safeaccessnow.org] and ruled it should be legal.

Re:Acetaminophen (1)

catmistake (814204) | about 4 years ago | (#33748200)

Never mind that it's habit forming as hell.

Um... this is bullshit. Chocolate, caffeine... now these are particularly known to cause extreme physical and psychological dependency in nearly all humans. Cannabis? Not really, not so much. Depends on the person, as most things are habit-forming to the addictive personality, So, yes, nevermind this often repeated yet nonetheless incorrect information. Instead, we can theorize that there would be no United States today if not for the colonial cannabis crop. Or we can talk about how George Washington was rather preoccupied by his personal crop. Or we can stay on point and discuss how one of the most useful medicines of all time has been systematically demonized by racists, unscrupulous newspaper barons and the likes of Joe McCarty. Let's get the truth out there, and leave the fear behind.

Re:Acetaminophen (1)

Redlazer (786403) | about 4 years ago | (#33748386)

There is also no proof that is damaging, or bad for you, or bad for your child. It was previously given during a difficult childbirth in the Days of Yore.

Re:Acetaminophen (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 4 years ago | (#33747304)

AFAIK the primary effect from an overdose is liver damage.

Re:Acetaminophen (5, Informative)

schnikies79 (788746) | about 4 years ago | (#33747320)

It takes >4 grams/day to overdose. It's far from "ridiculously easy". You can have 8 extra-strength Tylenol in a day and still be okay. /pharmicist

Re:Acetaminophen (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 4 years ago | (#33747472)

true that. if you need more, you need something stronger than tylenol.

Re:Acetaminophen (5, Informative)

JonySuede (1908576) | about 4 years ago | (#33747524)

if you drink more 3 drinks a day, the overdose threshold can be as high as 6grams

since contrary to the popular belief, alcohol is actually protective in case of acetaminophen poisoning, since the P450 enzyme favour ethanol to acetaminophen so there is less N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine(the bad metabolite of Tylenol that fuck up your liver) produced, you can read more int he Merck manual [merck.com]

Re:Acetaminophen (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33748214)

Thank you.. you made a crazy claim and you realized everyone would call bullshit.. so you included a source... thank you for the source. I wish more people here would include a source.

Re:Acetaminophen (1)

njfuzzy (734116) | about 4 years ago | (#33747556)

A recent well-publicized study re-pegged that dangerous number (for liver damage to be likely) at ~2g.

Re:Acetaminophen (4, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | about 4 years ago | (#33747944)

Single dose =/= maximum daily dose. Don't mix and match study types.

Acetaminophen metabolism follows first order kinetics and has a half life of 4-6 hours, depending on how healthy your liver is and how efficient your enzymes are. Taking one single 2.5g dose is probably enough to saturate your enzymes to the point that some damage will be done. However taking 4g divided in 4 doses of 1g every 6 hours will never get you over 2g total blood concentration since your body will be eliminating the drug.

Of course there's an entire other argument about chronic acetaminophen use depleting glutathione/methionine stores over time, but that's an even different story.

And then there's the other argument about chronic alcohol use, people who already have low glutathione stores and induced CYP2E1 cytochromes ready to zap that acetaminphen into NAPQI the minute it enters the liver - but why bore you with pharmacology when you can get your own doctorate?

Re:Acetaminophen (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 years ago | (#33747706)

It takes >4 grams/day to overdose. It's far from "ridiculously easy". You can have 8 extra-strength Tylenol in a day and still be okay. /pharmicist

Nonetheless major stupid trumps 'easy' most of the time. Acetaminophen overdose (both accidental and intentional) is one of the most common causes of liver failure in the US. (Ethanol for the win).((Ethanol + acetaminophen for bonus points in the Darwin awards)).

Re:Acetaminophen (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 4 years ago | (#33747796)

Plus one must remember that the average US citizen no longer weighs 70kg... so actually > 4g.

Re:Acetaminophen (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 4 years ago | (#33747846)

> It takes >4 grams/day to overdose. It's far from "ridiculously easy". You can have 8 extra-strength Tylenol in a day and still be okay. /pharmicist

You keep on telling yourself that. Sooner or later you will be seeing my friend the ER doctor.

Re:Acetaminophen (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33747880)

A real pharmacist would be able to spell the word pharmacist.

A real pharmacist would know that taking Acetaminophen over an extended period (longer than a week), can cause liver damage possibly leading to failure.

Re:Acetaminophen (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 4 years ago | (#33747924)

I got a receipt for Alvedon Forte 1 gram, got 100 of them, normal Alvedon is everything between 60 and 500 (though I assume more or less everyone buy 500 mg since that's the strongest you can buy without receipt.)

Anyway, fass.se says not more than 4 / day.

Don't know how exactly I was on dosing. Every 4-6 hours open up for more than 4 I guess ..

I'd still say really easy to go over 4 gram if that's only 4 tablets. I doubt I was like "omg teh danger!"

Also understood cats shouldn't eat them. (And my cat has had multiple epileptic-like seizures which may have come from her eating my SSRIs/Cipralex/Esertia.)

Re:Acetaminophen (1)

Anomalyx (1731404) | about 4 years ago | (#33748012)

I can eat nothing but chips and soda and still be okay too. It all depends on the time frame for which you are okay. You might be okay now, but taking acetaminophen consistently will undoubtedly shorten your lifespan. Of course a pharmacist will say it's okay, for two reasons. One is that handing out drugs is their job, and the second is that they were told by some professor or some "study" that it was ok (I use quotes because everyone knows how whacked pharmaceutical studies can be).

My wife has taken an average of 500mg of acetaminophen (1 dose of 2x Excedrin) daily for the past 12 years. That's far from 8 extra-strength Tylenol daily, but now she avoids it like the plague. It causes intense stomach pain and makes her liver swell noticeably every time she takes it now. The same is true of her brother, although he's probably closer to having taken it for 6 years, not 12. I avoid it unless I have an incapacitating headache. I've taken it maybe 10 times in my life, and I'd like to keep it that way. Besides, we've found that drinking cherry juice (tart cherries, and not that concentrate/artificial/flavored crap, get 100% natural juice) works just fine for most headaches.

Re:Acetaminophen (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 4 years ago | (#33747630)

I guess if you follow the TV sitcom dose measurement convention of "just take a handful or two."

If you're able to read, do read the bottle, follow instructions and can tell time, you should be just fine. Tylenol was the standard over the counter painkiller when I was a kid and everybody managed to avoid the "ridiculously easy" overdose.

Even the kid who tried to overdose on purpose in high school didn't actually manage to do herself too much damage. A few years after graduation she did manage to find something stronger that would do the job properly.

Re:Acetaminophen (0, Flamebait)

jedidiah (1196) | about 4 years ago | (#33747870)

The insistence that some people have on perpetrating harmful bogus nonsense simply boggles the mind.

Little wonder that people offering enlightenment usually end up strung up...

Re:Acetaminophen (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 4 years ago | (#33748028)

I'm curious, what's the harmful bogus nonsense?

I'd think you were agreeing with me, that characterizing Tylenol as "ridiculously easy to overdose on" is bogus nonsense, but you're the one who originally posted it!

Re:Acetaminophen (0, Flamebait)

jedidiah (1196) | about 4 years ago | (#33747908)

There are "tylenol fanboys" with mod points. Who knew?

Re:Acetaminophen (3, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 4 years ago | (#33747180)

I guess all those warnings about how Tylenol can damage your liver are true!

But this will only work if the snakes were drinking the night before!

And Up the Food Chain? (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 4 years ago | (#33747272)

I guess all those warnings about how Tylenol can damage your liver are true!

Once the dead snakes are doped on acetaminophen, don't they face the risk of whatever native species might eat them overdosing on acetaminophen? As I've said before, I steer clear of all that crap [slashdot.org] .

Re:And Up the Food Chain? (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 4 years ago | (#33747338)

What causes liver failure is the work done by the liver to break down the acetaminophen into relatively harmless compounds. That's probably why they chose this form of poisoning - no risk of bioaccumulation.

Who says only snakes will eat them? (3, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | about 4 years ago | (#33747518)

Is it like snakes have these tiny microwaves so they can thaw them out and no other animal can?

Didn't think so.

Re:Who says only snakes will eat them? (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 4 years ago | (#33747544)

Read TFA - it's actually a pretty cool idea for a delivery mechanism. Not failsafe, but pretty neat.

Re:And Up the Food Chain? (3, Informative)

RobertB-DC (622190) | about 4 years ago | (#33747412)

Once the dead snakes are doped on acetaminophen, don't they face the risk of whatever native species might eat them overdosing on acetaminophen

Probably not. The snake will die after its liver wears itself out breaking down the Acetaminophen. All that will be left in the snake is a worn-out liver and non-toxic Acetaminophen metabolites.

Arsenic, by contrast, doesn't "break down". It's an element, so it kills you and remains Arsenic. Other poisons would likely behave similarly. My guess is that Tylenol (I'm tired of typing the long word) was chosen *because* it's less likely to perpetuate in the food chain. In fact, I think it would be just about impossible for it to get beyond two layers -- the liver of whatever eats the snake should take care of the excess with no trouble.

Re:And Up the Food Chain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33747736)

In fact, I think it would be just about impossible for it to get beyond two layers -- the liver of whatever eats the snake should take care of the excess with no trouble.

Isn't that exactly what the GP suggested? How robust are bird's livers? Some amount of the acetaminophen is still in the blood of the snake when it dies ... otherwise how does it get to the liver to be broken down?

Re:And Up the Food Chain? (1)

delinear (991444) | about 4 years ago | (#33747758)

Plus I'm guessing there's not a lot of whatever eats snakes on the island, or there'd not be such a big issue in the first place.

Re:And Up the Food Chain? (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 4 years ago | (#33747764)

Probably not. The snake will die after its liver wears itself out breaking down the Acetaminophen. All that will be left in the snake is a worn-out liver and non-toxic Acetaminophen metabolites.

      Actually, acetaminophen is not toxic, but one of its metabolites, NAPQI (N-acetyl-p-benzo-quinone imine) is the one that does the damage by depleting the body's supply of glutathione which is a necessary chemical for many liver reactions. The rapid depletion of glutathione causes liver cells to become exposed to damage from free radicals and other, regular body toxins that would normally be metabolized. This is why acetaminophen toxicity is characteristic for causing centri-lobular necrosis - cells closest to the branch of the portal vein (And hence exposed to the highest concentrations of Acetaminophen-->NAPQI) tend to die first, cells further away tend to hang on to greater supplies of glutathione and survive to process the remaining NAPQI.

Since I'm a medical doctor and not a vet I am unaware as to the specific toxicity mechanism in cats and snakes, but it probably also has to do with this toxic NAPQI metabolite.

Insofar as your argument I would venture that the dead snakes would be full of NAPQI, an unhealthy surprise for any critter eating them that was unable to metabolize this chemical.

Re:Acetaminophen (3, Informative)

RobertB-DC (622190) | about 4 years ago | (#33747332)

I guess all those warnings about how Tylenol can damage your liver are true!

Ha Ha only serious. I can't find many decent references in a quick Google search, because all the links are "lolz teh armey is dropping Tylenol mice", but Acetaminophen is quite toxic to many animals, including house cats [placervillevet.com] . It works as a poison by damaging the liver.

For a healthy human, the liver can metabolize a normal dose of Tylenol just fine... but if you combine alcohol, Tylenol, and a drawerful of other Acetaminophen-containing products (cough syrup with pain reliever, sleep aid with pain reliever, cocaine/speed/etc cut with pain reliever, etc), you've got trouble on your hands.

Also, there's the problem of would-be suicides who try to overdose on Tylenol-3, the prescription high-dose version with Codeine added. They generally don't die -- largely because there's a specific antidote that hospitals have to neutralize the Acetaminophen before it overwhelms the liver. Those who are too late for that intervention don't die either, not right away... they end up on the list for a donor liver, and get to spend their final weeks wishing that they'd either found a better way to get attention, or that they'd invested in a shotgun.

Re:Acetaminophen (1)

pizzach (1011925) | about 4 years ago | (#33748258)

I've always had qualms about the attention argument. If they wanted attention, they would hold a bank up with hostages and get someone *else* to shoot them on TV or something. Attempted death by Tylenol strikes me more as poor judgment than 'attention getting.'

Re:Acetaminophen (1)

arielCo (995647) | about 4 years ago | (#33747732)

Yes, because what kills a snake must kill a human too.

What are they going to use... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33747246)

When the Ice Zombie Rats who are incapable of feeling pain attack?

Attach parachutes.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33747260)

...to catch in the trees or else the frozen mice will just wind up on the ground. Also this will only work for some time until the stupid snakes die off, only the wise snakes will remain and then they will breed smarter snakes.

Re:Attach parachutes.... (2, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | about 4 years ago | (#33747340)

Also this will only work for some time until the stupid snakes die off, only the wise snakes will remain and then they will breed smarter snakes.

Then they can drop smarter dead frozen mice to kill them as well. Er, well, or something like that.

Re:Attach parachutes.... (1)

mea37 (1201159) | about 4 years ago | (#33747510)

Oh, good. Another slashdolt who thinks natural solution works by magic.

This ploy doesn't select in favor of "wise" snakes. It selects in favor of snakes that have an aversion to the mice for some reason, which is only meaningful if (1) such snakes exist, and (2) the aversion is not correlated with some other factor that limits breeding, and (3) the aversion is genetic.

It is possible that those three things will turn out to be true. Lacking a field test, I guess we don't know if any snakes have an aversion to the bait. It seems unlikely to me, but who knows?

Possible or not, though, it is far from the foregone conclusion you would suggest.

Re:Attach parachutes.... (2, Informative)

kiddygrinder (605598) | about 4 years ago | (#33747540)

seems pretty likely to me, a lot of snakes won't eat their prey unless it's moving, this will probably re-enforce that trait.

Re:Attach parachutes.... (1)

delinear (991444) | about 4 years ago | (#33747874)

FTFA:

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.

Seems like they already figured out the parachute idea.

Isn't there any way to snake-proof the lines? (1)

Richard Steiner (1585) | about 4 years ago | (#33747266)

Rig snake-zappers midway up the poles? :-)

Oblig. Simpsons (5, Funny)

LordBmore (1794002) | about 4 years ago | (#33747280)

Lisa: But isn't that a bit short-sighted? What happens when we're overrun by lizards?
Skinner: No problem. We simply release wave after wave of Chinese needle snakes. They'll wipe out the lizards.
Lisa: But aren't the snakes even worse?
Skinner: Yes, but we're prepared for that. We've lined up a fabulous type of gorilla that thrives on snake meat.
Lisa: But then we're stuck with gorillas!
Skinner: No, that's the beautiful part. When wintertime rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death.

Guam will smell great once the mice thaw out (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33747286)

Now the entire island will smell like rotting mice and snakes... Good Job USDA.

Last time I checked (1)

maroberts (15852) | about 4 years ago | (#33747318)

A large number of birds were omnivorous. Why is this likely only to take out the snakes?

Re:Last time I checked (1)

nomadic (141991) | about 4 years ago | (#33747506)

Are birds similarly poisoned by acetaminophen? And do they eat carrion?

I've had it! (5, Funny)

doc_holliday814 (726060) | about 4 years ago | (#33747354)

I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking island!

Won't work (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 4 years ago | (#33747424)

Most snakes won't eat carrion. The prey has to be moving to trigger hunting, and then feeding behavior.

Re:Won't work (1)

smitty777 (1612557) | about 4 years ago | (#33747574)

I was wondering about that too. I don't think they'll eat a frozen mouse dangling on a string. We have a constrictor at home that we feed frozen mice - you have to un-freez them and kinda wiggle them around to get her attention. Since they've gone to all this trouble so far, maybe they can implant a little electric motor in each mouse. Perhaps some usability testing might be in order.

Re:Won't work (4, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | about 4 years ago | (#33747746)

It's Guam (average temp 30C). Something the size of a mouse isn't going to stay frozen very long. The mice are attached to streamers so they get caught in the tree tops (where the snakes are) and get moved by air currents. They are testing it now, having already dropped 250 mice.

Re:Won't work (0, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 years ago | (#33747610)

Do you know that this is a species that won't eat a cold mouse or are you just spreading FUD?

BS (0)

Stargoat (658863) | about 4 years ago | (#33747512)

This is a big load of BS.

If you want to get rid of this snake, just get 5000 soldiers. Give them each of them a Mossberg 500 pump action shotgun and as much number 9 or 10 shot shells as they can carry. The army has more than enough shotguns and the shells . Then, give the soldiers 10 dollars for every dead snake and dead cat they bring back. There's only like 263 square miles on this island. The whole job could be finished in under a week. (Feral cats are doing more damage to the environment than the cats, but it's not cool to talk about it. Cats are cute. Snakes kill you.)

People forget that the simplest solution tends to be the best one. They also forget what a regiment of men with guns can accomplish. There's a reason that the bison almost went extinct. As well as many subspecies of rattlesnake.

Re:BS (1)

njfuzzy (734116) | about 4 years ago | (#33747620)

Did you read the summary? While I am sure the results would be brilliant YouTube (or Darwin awards) material, how do you get hundreds of men with shotguns up into the tree canopy?

Re:BS (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about 4 years ago | (#33748128)

Much better than men, easily can get into canopies. Can come home to recharge before going out for more hunting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvRTALJp8DM [youtube.com]

Aggressive Maneuvers for Autonomous Quadrotor Flight, University of Pennsylvania GRASP Lab

Re:BS (1)

JockTroll (996521) | about 4 years ago | (#33748352)

"how do you get hundreds of men with shotguns up into the tree canopy?"

Rockets.

idiot (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 4 years ago | (#33747928)

and as much number 9 or 10 shot shells

Which contain lead. Which will leach into the water table. It's a realistic problem for the quantities you're talking about.

People forget that the simplest solution tends to be the best one. They also forget what a regiment of men with guns can accomplish

And people are also idiots who forget that when a mommy snake and a daddy snake meet by chance in a forest, they have zillions of baby snakes shortly thereafter. Invasive species which are overrunning a habitat are doing so because they have no natural predators and an abundant food source.

Growth is exponential . Unless you have less than 2 snakes remaining, you're screwed in another few years again. And if you only have one, you better make sure it's not pregnant.

Re:idiot (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 4 years ago | (#33748152)

There are a few non-toxic shot types available, such as bismuth and soft iron. Required for all waterfowl in the US, also required for many areas due to wetlands, etc.

Re:idiot (1)

GooberToo (74388) | about 4 years ago | (#33748278)

There are also steel and copper pellets.

Please, please, please (1)

kieran (20691) | about 4 years ago | (#33747530)

... tell me the mice will each have their own little biodegradable parachute to help them get stuck up in the trees where the snakes are.

Re:Please, please, please (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33747782)

TFA says they're gluing the frozen mice to sheets of cardboard so they get stuck in the trees. Biodegradable? Eventually, I suppose.

Really, it wasn't a very long article.

Re:Please, please, please (1)

cmiller173 (641510) | about 4 years ago | (#33747814)

Didn't the article spell that out for you? Oh wait, this IS slashdot...

invasive alien species (1)

meglon (1001833) | about 4 years ago | (#33747586)

What ever happened to just taking off and nuking them from orbit? It's the only way to be sure after all.

Re:invasive alien species (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33747662)

What ever happened to just taking off and nuking them from orbit? It's the only way to be sure after all.

I bet it would also cut down the number of locals who are angry about snakes assuming the snakes do survivor the bombing.

Nothing else eats mice on the island? (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 4 years ago | (#33747848)

So, what's going to eat the mice other than the snakes?

invasive species (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33747978)

er, aren't ALL species of life "invasive"?
Is it a "pest" or just a species of animal life that thrives in the rain forest?
Driving other species to extinction is what species do, so not really relevant as a "justification".

"Eradicating the snake is a priority because it triggers more than 100 power outages a year at a cost of $1-4 million"
ah, so it is all about the money. Ok.

So just say we don't like snakes and they're costing us cash.
Now, our plan.....is to drop drug-laced dead mice with garbage (streamers) attached into the tops of island rainforests.
Humanity is so freaking brillant sometimes that it hurts my eyes. I really enjoy COPS too.

Nobody (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 4 years ago | (#33747998)

Tell this to Hank Johnson, because now he'll really think that Guam will tip over [youtube.com] ...

Remember, you vote for these people.

Re:Nobody (0, Flamebait)

moogied (1175879) | about 4 years ago | (#33748286)

Actually I don't vote. Just so people that say stupid things like "You vote for them!" are horribly wrong. Jerk.

What? Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33748110)

They already did it last week!

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/23/pacific_zombie_mouse_paratroops/

According to Stars and Stripes, the first waves of dead killer mouse drug paratroopers went in to the jungles surrounding Sasebo Naval Base Guam [on September 22nd]

oblig (1)

Myopic (18616) | about 4 years ago | (#33748222)

acetaminophen!? YOUcetaminophen! oh girl! you have no faith in medicine!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?