‘Rat Island’ No Longer Has Rats, Researchers Say

August 26, 2009

Alaska (ChattahBox) – Looks like Alaska’s Rat Island will have to change their name after scientists found that the legendary infestation of the pest is at an end.

The island was put through a $3 million dollar extermination process, which sought to eradicate the high number of rats that had first been introduced to the region when a Japanese ship crashed on the coast in the 1700’s.

The eradication process began a little over a year ago, with 700 pounds of poison being laid on the island. The move was a controversial one, and the results show why.

While the island seems to now be rat-free, and all tests returning scientists conducted backs this up, other creatures perished.

Among the casualties were more than 250 bird, and a depressing 43 bald eagles. While this is a small fraction of the 50,000 bald eagle population in the area, it is still a disappointing blow.

The reasoning behind the initial destruction of the rat population was to return the island to it’s original ecosystem. Rats will commonly change the environment of a region drastically by reducing wildlife numbers and passing on devastating disease.

Researchers are looking forward to catching a glimpse of what the ecosystem may have been before the 230-year-old infestation.



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