Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:11 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,412
US gov't to air-drop toxic mice on Guam snakes

The headline says it all

http://news.yahoo.com/us-govt-air-dr...065326367.html

Quote:
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (AP) -- Dead mice laced with painkillers are about to rain down on Guam's jungle canopy. They are scientists' prescription for a headache that has caused the tiny U.S. territory misery for more than 60 years: the brown tree snake.

Most of Guam's native bird species are extinct because of the snake, which reached the island's thick jungles by hitching rides from the South Pacific on U.S. military ships shortly after World War II. There may be 2 million of the reptiles on Guam now, decimating wildlife, biting residents and even knocking out electricity by slithering onto power lines.

More than 3,000 miles away, environmental officials in Hawaii have long feared a similar invasion — which in their case likely would be a "snakes on a plane" scenario. That would cost the state many vulnerable species and billions of dollars, but the risk will fall if Guam's air-drop strategy succeeds.

Last edited by CalMeacham; 02-22-2013 at 02:12 PM.
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:18 PM
hotflungwok hotflungwok is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,374
If this is carpet rather than precision bombing, because hitting a snake on the head with a dead mouse from even a few hundred feet up has got to be tough, they're going to need a hell of a lot of mice.
  #3  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:22 PM
solosam solosam is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 737
Drone warfare! Think of all those poor, innocent baby snakes! It's not their fault they're snakes!
  #4  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:23 PM
Balance Balance is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 7,988
First, picturing this is gruesomely amusing. Picturing someone confronted with the rain of dead mice who hasn't heard about it in advance is even more so.

Second, how long do you suppose it will be before someone figures out how to smoke and/or snort mice?*

*Edit: Bummer. On actually reading the article carefully, I see the painkiller in question is just acetaminophen. No high snakes or mice-pipes. Just a new headache remedy. Take two mice and call me in the morning.

Last edited by Balance; 02-22-2013 at 02:27 PM.
  #5  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:26 PM
running coach running coach is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Riding my handcycle
Posts: 31,383
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotflungwok View Post
If this is carpet rather than precision bombing, because hitting a snake on the head with a dead mouse from even a few hundred feet up has got to be tough, they're going to need a hell of a lot of mice.
Laser-guided smart mice.
  #6  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:28 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Surefall Glade, Antonica
Posts: 18,730
There has to be a better way to deal with this problem. Dropping poisoned mice? Really? Every other hungry animal on the island is as likely to eat the bait as the snakes are. OK, I see they are adding mini-parachute like things to hand the dead mice in tree branches. Adds comedic value.

Why not pay a bounty for dead snakes? Let the locals solve the problem and earn a buck in the process.

Last edited by Oakminster; 02-22-2013 at 02:31 PM.
  #7  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:33 PM
Sal Ammoniac Sal Ammoniac is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Beans, Cod
Posts: 4,459
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
There has to be a better way to deal with this problem. Dropping poisoned mice? Really? Every other hungry animal on the island is as likely to eat the bait as the snakes are. OK, I see they are adding mini-parachute like things to hand the dead mice in tree branches. Adds comedic value.

Why not pay a bounty for dead snakes? Let the locals solve the problem and earn a buck in the process.
The bounty idea is okay, but within a week, you'd have people setting up clandestine snake farms.

Last edited by Sal Ammoniac; 02-22-2013 at 02:35 PM.
  #8  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:34 PM
Balance Balance is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 7,988
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
There has to be a better way to deal with this problem. Dropping poisoned mice? Really? Every other hungry animal on the island is as likely to eat the bait as the snakes are.
Except that (a) the mice will be dropped with rigs that tangle in foliage, keeping them in the treetops, and (b) the snakes have already eaten everything else up there that might eat the mice.
  #9  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:35 PM
lieu lieu is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Bedrock
Posts: 26,079
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
Every other hungry animal on the island is as likely to eat the bait as the snakes are.
Streamers are attached that'll catch in the forest canopy right where snakes live. The other animal at risk, birds, are mostly wiped out already.

So really they're more military grade multiply tamponed smart mice.
  #10  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:37 PM
Doctor Jackson Doctor Jackson is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Jawja
Posts: 8,928
Why would a dead mouse need a pain killer?

Huh? Oh. never mind...
  #11  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:38 PM
GaryM GaryM is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: St. Louis, MO 50mi. West
Posts: 4,386
Won't the snake problem be solved when the island capsizes? What's the rush?
__________________
GaryM
  #12  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:41 PM
2gigch1 2gigch1 is online now
ReMember
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 2,298
Resurrect Saint Patrick.
  #13  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:44 PM
solosam solosam is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 737
And for years the forest canopy will be littered with tiny mouse parachutes.
  #14  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:47 PM
running coach running coach is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Riding my handcycle
Posts: 31,383
Quote:
Originally Posted by solosam View Post
And for years the forest canopy will be littered with tiny mouse parachutes.
And does a parachuting mouse squeak "Mickey!" as it plummets towards the ground?
  #15  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:54 PM
hotflungwok hotflungwok is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,374
Quote:
Originally Posted by runner pat View Post
And does a parachuting mouse squeak "Mickey!" as it plummets towards the ground?
Of course not, it's dead.
  #16  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:56 PM
Sicks Ate Sicks Ate is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: KS, US
Posts: 5,423
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotflungwok View Post
Of course not, it's dead.
Not at all; it's tired and shagged out following a prolonged squeak.
  #17  
Old 02-22-2013, 03:02 PM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Challenger Deep
Posts: 10,262
You know, I have one simple request - and that is to have mice with frickin' Tylenol attached to their heads.

Oh, we can do that? Cool.
  #18  
Old 02-22-2013, 03:06 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Beervania
Posts: 52,807
So they are going to save the birds by dropping poisoned mice into the trees? Are these mice going to have little signs around their necks reading "Snake Food Only!, to stop the birds from gobbling them up?
  #19  
Old 02-22-2013, 03:32 PM
miss elizabeth miss elizabeth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: The Dirty Dirty
Posts: 3,084
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
So they are going to save the birds by dropping poisoned mice into the trees? Are these mice going to have little signs around their necks reading "Snake Food Only!, to stop the birds from gobbling them up?
Hey, read the thread. Lots of people have already answered this question.

I'm glad they are doing something. The loss of the birds in Guam is a real tragedy, and if we were to lose more Pacific island species it would be even worse. I hope this campaign is successful.
  #20  
Old 02-22-2013, 03:58 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: America's Wing
Posts: 26,904
Quote:
Originally Posted by runner pat View Post
And does a parachuting mouse squeak "Mickey!" as it plummets towards the ground?
This sparked my mind. I wonder if the mice are dead because of the painkillers. In other words, they've been slipped......a mickey.
  #21  
Old 02-22-2013, 04:34 PM
davidm davidm is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Near Philadelphia PA, USA
Posts: 11,194
Here's the USDA web page about this. Along with the toxic mice (acetaminophen is very toxic to brown treesnakes) they're testing or considering a number of different ideas, including snake contraception.
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_d...ts/index.shtml
  #22  
Old 02-22-2013, 04:39 PM
Tully Mars Tully Mars is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,436
"With god as my witness, I thought mice could fly."

-- apologies to Les Nessman
  #23  
Old 02-22-2013, 04:40 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 57,288
Ecuador has been poisoning rats in the Galapagos Islands, as the rats are an invasive species.
  #24  
Old 02-22-2013, 04:49 PM
Alley Dweller Alley Dweller is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 3,558
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
Ecuador has been poisoning rats in the Galapagos Islands, as the rats are an invasive species.
So do snakes eat rats as well as mice? We may have a winning combination here....
  #25  
Old 02-22-2013, 05:47 PM
snowthx snowthx is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Sacratomato area
Posts: 2,623
It sounds like they are starting this near an airport to help prevent the snakes from island-hopping on aircraft, to places like Hawaii.
  #26  
Old 02-22-2013, 08:18 PM
running coach running coach is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Riding my handcycle
Posts: 31,383
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowthx View Post
It sounds like they are starting this near an airport to help prevent the snakes from island-hopping on aircraft, to places like Hawaii.
So they're trying to avoid...Snakes On A Plane!
  #27  
Old 02-22-2013, 09:09 PM
Ale Ale is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Bangkok
Posts: 5,035
Quote:
Originally Posted by runner pat View Post
Laser-guided smart mice.
Mice with frikin' lasers attached to their heads?
That's just evil.
  #28  
Old 02-22-2013, 09:13 PM
Ale Ale is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Bangkok
Posts: 5,035
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowthx View Post
It sounds like they are starting this near an airport to help prevent the snakes from island-hopping on aircraft, to places like Hawaii.
Pfff... silly, they just need to set up a state-of-the-art passenger screening system in the airport and the snakes will be discouraged from air travel altogether.
  #29  
Old 02-22-2013, 09:23 PM
MacTech MacTech is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
Posts: 6,263
....are you pondering what I'm pondering?
  #30  
Old 02-22-2013, 09:45 PM
Simplicio Simplicio is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Vermont
Posts: 11,805
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
There has to be a better way to deal with this problem. Dropping poisoned mice? Really? Every other hungry animal on the island is as likely to eat the bait as the snakes are. OK, I see they are adding mini-parachute like things to hand the dead mice in tree branches. Adds comedic value.

Why not pay a bounty for dead snakes? Let the locals solve the problem and earn a buck in the process.
They tried a test program for a bounty system. Didn't work, as people wouldn't pursue the snakes into the jungles, and these provided a resevoir to repopulate the areas people did successfully hunt out.

They've been dealing with this forever, so its probably a pretty safe bet that pretty much any solution that occurs to you after thinking about the problem few minutes has already been considered and tried. Unless airdropping mice with small parachutes stuffed with pain-killers occurs to you, in which case that hasn't been tried, but that oversight will be remedied shortly.
  #31  
Old 02-22-2013, 11:49 PM
Claverhouse Claverhouse is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,169
Hire mercenaries.
__________________
The efficiency and success of the Italian aviators in Tripoli are noteworthy, but must not be overvalued. There were no opponents in the air.

v. Bernhardi ---- Germany and the Next War
  #32  
Old 02-23-2013, 02:20 AM
Balance Balance is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 7,988
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claverhouse View Post
Hire mercenaries.
Well, those snakes are green, but they do wear brown...trousers? I'm sure the good Sergeant can be flexible on this.
  #33  
Old 02-23-2013, 02:35 AM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Medford, MA
Posts: 21,213
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTech View Post
....are you pondering what I'm pondering?
Uh, I think so MacTech, but if you fill mice with aspirin, cats won't get headaches anymore.
SPOILER:
Narf!
  #34  
Old 02-23-2013, 06:09 AM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: SF Giants Nation 10-12-14
Posts: 21,366
Did these mice enlist willingly? Or were they drafted? Were they sent to Fort Benning's jump school for proper training? Or will they simply be shoved out the hatch?

Anybody remember the old Michael Jackson song, Ben?

(singing)

Ben, you're always running here and there
You feel you're not wanted anywhere
If you ever look behind
And don't like what you find
There's something you should know
You've got a place to go


<yeah - to Guam>

(/singing)
  #35  
Old 02-23-2013, 06:14 AM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: SF Giants Nation 10-12-14
Posts: 21,366
I used to sing cadence when running the platoon...

(singing)

C-130 rollin' down the strip
Guam-bound mousies gonna take a little trip
Stand up, buckle up, shuffle to the door
Jump right out and shout, MARINE CORPS!!

If my 'chute don't open wide
I've got another right by my side
If that 'chute don't open round
I'll be the first mousie on the ground

Singin' lo right-a layeft
Lefty right-a layeft
Lo right-a left right
I love to double time


(/singing)

Do mice sing?
  #36  
Old 02-23-2013, 06:24 AM
Alley Dweller Alley Dweller is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 3,558
Quote:
Originally Posted by echo7tango View Post
Do mice sing?
Here ya go!
  #37  
Old 02-23-2013, 06:48 AM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: SF Giants Nation 10-12-14
Posts: 21,366
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alley Dweller View Post
Thanks. At first that mouse sounded a bit like Flipper the dolphin!
  #38  
Old 02-23-2013, 06:58 AM
Cicero Cicero is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 9,122
Sounds like a load of old cobras to me.
  #39  
Old 02-23-2013, 10:43 AM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Medford, MA
Posts: 21,213
Fighting rodents from the sky
Fearless mice who jump and die
Mice who mean just what they say
The brave mice of the Green Beret

Silver wings upon their chest
These are mice, America's best
One hundred mice will test today
But only three win the Green Beret
  #40  
Old 02-23-2013, 10:51 AM
PlainJain PlainJain is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,700
Wait, do snakes eat dead mice?
  #41  
Old 02-23-2013, 11:11 AM
Michael63129 Michael63129 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlainJain View Post
Wait, do snakes eat dead mice?
That was my first thought as well; I know that many reptiles and amphibians only eat (or even see; their eyes only really see movement) moving prey. I have kept toads as pets before and they only eat something that is moving (not necessarily alive), although perhaps this isn't a problem if the mice are dangling from the trees and moving in the wind.
  #42  
Old 02-23-2013, 11:18 AM
Balance Balance is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 7,988
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlainJain View Post
Wait, do snakes eat dead mice?
From the article: "Unlike most snakes, brown tree snakes are happy to eat prey they didn't kill themselves...."
  #43  
Old 02-23-2013, 11:19 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sweet Home Chicago
Posts: 33,496
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlainJain View Post
Wait, do snakes eat dead mice?
Brown tree snakes do. Most snakes don't. Which actually works out pretty well in this case, since brown tree snakes are the target.


Brown tree snakes are one of very few snake species that eat the corpses of dead animals that they didnít kill themselves.
  #44  
Old 02-23-2013, 11:28 AM
MEBuckner MEBuckner is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Posts: 11,393
"I always get the shakes before a drop. I've had the injections, of course, and hypnotic preparation, and it stands to reason that I can't really be afraid. Plus, I've been stuffed with enough acetaminophen to kill a capybara, so I'm already dead. But the fact is: I'm scared silly, every time."

Come on, you rats! Do you wanta live forever?!?
  #45  
Old 02-23-2013, 11:35 AM
thirdname thirdname is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: East Coast of USA
Posts: 3,235
It's a shame they didn't go with my plan to introduce snake-eating gorillas.
  #46  
Old 02-23-2013, 12:09 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Home Of The Bengals!
Posts: 15,942
I cannot believe the depths that Columbia pictures will sink to generate PR for their latest entry in the Stuart Little franchise.
  #47  
Old 02-23-2013, 07:30 PM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: SF Giants Nation 10-12-14
Posts: 21,366
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEBuckner View Post
Come on, you rats! Do you wanta live forever?!?
That was Dan Daly in WWI.
  #48  
Old 02-23-2013, 07:48 PM
levdrakon levdrakon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 17,348
I heard about this years ago, and the damage these snakes do is pretty horrible. I was going to say "nuke 'em from space" but then I realized that's probably the one thing that could actually be harder on the ecosystem than the snakes. Maybe.
  #49  
Old 02-24-2013, 09:42 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ale View Post
Pfff... silly, they just need to set up a state-of-the-art passenger screening system in the airport and the snakes will be discouraged from air travel altogether.
It won't work. What discourages passengers are things like emptying their pockets and taking off their shoes. Snakes, by and large, don't wear shoes, or have pockets. They'll breeze right through TSA checkpoints.
  #50  
Old 02-24-2013, 11:23 AM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 11,278
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidm View Post
they're testing or considering a number of different ideas, including snake contraception.
Just stuffing those things into the condoms is a nightmare.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:39 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017