Mice, infesting Antarctic island and eating the birds, to be exterminated

Mice, accidentally introduced to Marion Island, a remote Antarctic island off the coast of South Africa, now breed out of control in the warming environment and are devouring the seagulls. An extermination is planned, reports the Associated Press, to save the delicate ecology of the island, which has no permanent human population.

The past few decades have been the most significant for the damage the mice have caused, said Dr. Anton Wolfaardt, the Mouse-Free Marion project manager. He said their numbers have increased hugely, mainly due to rising temperatures from climate change, which has turned a cold, windswept island into a warmer, drier, more hospitable home.

"They are probably one of the most successful animals in the world. They've got to all sorts of places," Wolfaardt said. But now on Marion Island, "their breeding season has been extended, and this has resulted in a massive increase in the densities of mice."

The operation will involve helicopters and hundreds of tons of poison, which must be "dropped over every part" of Marion's 115 square miles: "If even one pregnant mouse survives, their prolific breeding ability means it may have all been for nothing."

Looking forward to "Don Bluth's Children of Men."

Previously: Making Inaccessible Island a little more accessible