The US Department of Agriculture is bombing Naval Base Guam with dead mice stuffed with generic Tylenol and transponders. Their aim is to kill off the non-native brown tree snakes that are killing off the island's birds and also become ensnared in power lines causing black-outs. From CNN:
Since scientists discovered that the household pain reliever was deadly to the brown tree snakes, they’ve been trying to figure out how to get it to where many of the serpents live in the canopies of the island’s forests, according to a report in Stars & Stripes. The Tylenol-loaded mice are attached to two pieces of cardboard joined by paper streamers that snake exterminators hope will catch on tree branches, providing deadly snacks for snakes at those heights, according to the Stripes report.Tylenol-loaded mice dropped from air to control snakes (via Submitterator, thanks rkachowski!)
The aerial attack on the tree snakes is designed to augment current trapping systems, which are placed around ports and airports to prevent the snakes from hitching rides to other Pacific islands such as Hawaii and causing the same ecological nightmares they’ve been responsible for on Guam...
If the current the experiment works – scientists will know because they’re also packing the dead mice with radio transmitters for the snakes to ingest – death from above will be coming for snakes at the island’s Anderson Air Base next year, according to Guam Newswatch. Success there could see the program expand island-wide.
The Brown Treesnake on Guam (USGS)
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.