Even I don't always agree with my opinion


You Dirty Rat

Posted November 17, 2012 by jim young in Science

– jim young

“A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit.” – Sarah Jessica Parker

180 million rats are the target of a mass murder plot in the Galapagos Islands where 22 tons of poison is being dropped with the hopes of wiping out the rat population there.

I love the smell of poisoned rats in the morning.

Allegedly reaching a population as high as 1 rat per square foot in some areas, the rats were supposedly first brought to the Galapagos by pirates and whalers in the 17th century.Feeding on the eggs and the young of birds, snakes, lizards and turtles, the rats have been reported to already critically endanger many species of birds on the islands.The poison, manufactured by Bell Laboratories in the US has been designed to attract the rats while repelling other wildlife species. 34 hawks and 40 iguanas have been taken into custody to prevent them from feeding on the bodies of the poisoned rats.

And as the rats are not native to the Galapagos Islands and have been accused of depleting many plants upon which the native wildlife feed, it seems like the right thing to do.

The operative word here is “seems”.

You dirty rat!

Does anybody but me smell a rat here?

With man’s past track record of largely unsuccessful attempts to correct the balance of Mother Nature, is there any wonder I have some doubts?

First given the “World Heritage Site” status by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in 1978, the Galapagos was declared a “Biosphere Reserve” in 1985.


“In 2007, the UNESCO added the Galapagos National Park to its List of World Heritage Sites in Danger, reflecting the dangers posed by a fast pace of human development in all its areas: immigration, tourism and trade, all increasing the likelihood of introduction of invasive species to the islands.” (Source: Wikipedia)

(No mention of rats from the 17th century here.)

Measures were put in place to better control the tourism. Read: taxation to visitors through the mandatory purchase of visitor cards and the use of certified guides.

In 2010, UNESCO’s decision to remove the Galapagos from the endangered list was criticised by the Galapagos Conversation Trust (GCT) in Britain who continued to cite tourism as still being a major problem.

Of course tourism is a main contributor to the conservation efforts of the Galapagos and who wants to bite the hand that feeds them?

It’s a double-edged sword.

  1. Tourists provide the money for the conservation
  2. Most tourists don’t want to see rats on the islands anyway

So why not kill two birds with one stone?

Or better yet. Leave the stone the hell alone and let the birds fly where they will.

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