Left Menu
Development News Edition

Giant mice killing over 2 million rare birds on Gough islands

Devdiscourse News Desk | London | Updated: 22-10-2018 22:26 IST | Created: 22-10-2018 19:17 IST
Giant mice killing over 2 million rare birds on Gough islands
The RSPB and Tristan da Cunha government are teaming up with international partners to eradicate mice from Gough Island in 2020. (Image Credit: Twitter)

Mice brought to a remote South Atlantic island by sailors in the 19th century are threatening seabirds including the critically endangered Tristan albatross, a British charity said on Monday.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said the rodents have proliferated on uninhabited Gough Island, part of a British overseas territory, and are killing two million birds every year.

"We knew there were large numbers of chicks and eggs being beaten each year but the actual number being taken by the mice is just staggering," Alex Bond, a researcher from the Natural History Museum in London, said in a statement released by the RSPB.

The predatory mice have evolved to become "two or three times larger" than the average house mouse and they attack in groups, eating away at the flesh of chicks which can suffer for days before the open wounds lead to their deaths, the RSPB said.

Other threatened species endangered by the mice include the Gough bunting and Atlantic petrel, the RSPB said.

Gough Island is part of the same territory as Tristan da Cunha and Saint Helena, the island where Napoleon was exiled and died in 1821.

The RSPB and Tristan da Cunha government are teaming up with international partners to eradicate mice from Gough Island in 2020, using two helicopters laden with poisonous pellets.

"Restoring the island to a more natural state will prevent the deaths of millions of seabirds," said John Kelly, RSPB manager for the Gough Island mouse eradication programme.

The RSPB said the operation would be "logistically complex" because staff and equipment would have to be shipped to the island, located 1,550 miles (2,800 kilometres from South Africa.

The project is inspired by a successful eradication programme on the British overseas territory of South Georgia, where rats were introduced by sealing and whaling ships in the 19th century.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Canada’s COVID-19 pitfalls highlight need for integrated health information system

In the globalized world of today where outbreaks can spread far and wide within a matter of days, a global-level integrated health information system is ideal but Canadas provincial barriers show that the country lags much behind in deployi...

Pandemic must be impetus, not obstacle, for clean water access

To make matters worse, there are suspicions that the inadequacy of wastewater treatment methods in California, the rest of the USA, and indeed around the world may help to propagate the disease even more widely. ...

3D printing and the future of manufacturing post COVID-19

The on-demand, customizable, and localized manufacturing of product components facilitated by 3D printing has the potential to redefine manufacturing but there are certain technical, mechanical, and legal limitations that, unless ...

How UK’s 'best prepared' healthcare system failed to gauge COVID-19

The UK is proud of their public health system and its unlike any other country as around 90 percent of British public supports the founding principles of National Health Service. But without accurate data being available to stakeholders in ...

Videos

Latest News

Light to moderate rain in parts of UP today

Several parts of Uttar Pradesh are likely to receive thundershowers and lightning on Wednesday morning, the Meteorological Centre in Lucknow predicted. As per the Meteorological Centre, Rain thundershowers and lightning are very likely to o...

Bengaluru violence: 110 arrested for arson, stone-pelting and assault on police

In connection with the violence in Bengaluru over a derogatory social media post, the Bengaluru Police have arrested 110 accused of arson, stone-pelting and assault on the police, said Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant. Congress MLA ...

Nigeria: NECO releases timetable for 2020 exams of Senior Secondary 3 students

The National Examination Council, Nigeria on August 11 has released the timetable and guidelines for the conduct of its 2020 examinations for Senior Secondary 3 students.NECO RegistrarChief Executive Officer, Professor Godswill Obioma has d...

Panama announces next phase of economic re-opening

Panama will from Monday allow work to resume on some infrastructure projects and permit more businesses to re-open from coronavirus lockdown, including retailers, car dealers, beauty salons and barber shops, the government said on Tuesday. ...

Give Feedback