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Thread: Of Mice and Snakes ... and Tylenol -- (this is NOT a joke, it is NOT "The Onion")

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    A woman said to write like a man. Plot Device's Avatar
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    Of Mice and Snakes ... and Tylenol -- (this is NOT a joke, it is NOT "The Onion")

    It's raining men mice in Guam.

    A US scientific team will be doing a "mouse drop" on the island of Guam, carpet bombing the island with an undisclosed number of dead mouse carcasses, all of which have been laced with acetaminophen, a pain killer more commonly known as Tylenol which is incidentally poisonous to the invasive brown tree snake (boiga irregularis). This operation is slated to be executed some time during April or May.

    http://rt.com/usa/us-snake-guam-mice-308/

    US to bomb Guam with dead mice

    February 22, 2013

    In a desperate attempt to kill off two million brown tree snakes that are plaguing the territory of Guam, the US is bombing the island with poisoned dead mice, hoping that the snakes will eat them.

    “We are taking this to a new phase. There really is no other place in the world with a snake problem like Guam,” Daniel Vice, assistant state director of the US Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services in Guam, told the Associated Press.


    The pile of dead mice, laced with painkillers that are deadly for snakes, will rain down onto Guam’s jungle canopy as scientists drop them from helicopters in a last-ditch attempt to eradicate the invasive species....



    When humans try to tinker with ecoogical balances (or imbalances) strange unforeseen consequences tend to unfold.

    Let's see where this one leads to.





    ::ETA::

    Seems the snakes have been an utter plague to Guam, and that this is a measure of last ditch desperation. Meanwhile Hawaii is worried of a possible snake migration to their fair paradise.

    The following article from Gizmodo is knee-slappingly funny to read (but sadly way too brief!). Yet is full of good information.

    http://gizmodo.com/5986337/guams-sol...e-paratroopers

    Guam’s Solving Its Snake Problem With a Horrifying Rain of Poisoned Mouse Paratroopers

    Eric Limer - Feb 22, 2013 - WTF Friday


    ... According to the Associated Press, the drop is scheduled for sometime in April or May and has actually been in the works for over a decade. The reason it never happened before was for fear that crows might eat the mice instead, but now all the crows have conveniently been eaten by brown tree snakes so it's all systems go....

    [snip and repaste]

    ... So scientists have come up with a solution, the only logical one really: fill a bunch of dead mice with painkillers, give each corpse a tiny parachute, and throw them all out of helicopters into the jungle. No but really....

    [snip and repaste]

    ... the hope is that their tiny parachutes will become entangled in the jungle's foliage where their sacrificed corpses will be feasted upon by the writhing mass of serpents....
    Last edited by Plot Device; 02-23-2013 at 05:37 PM.
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  2. #2
    Bright and Early for the Daily Race Chrissy's Avatar
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    My first thought was "Poor mice."

    I'm quite curious as to whether this will work or not. And what those unintended consequences may be. Very interesting, PD.

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    I'll procrastinte tomorrow. Rufus Coppertop's Avatar
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    For some reason I assumed at first that Tylenol was a laxative and skimmed over the bit about it being a pain killer.

    I had quite a vivid picture of what the unintended consequences might be.
    “But it isn't hunger that drives millions of armed American Males to forests and hills every autumn, as the high incidence of heart failure among the hunters will prove. Somehow the hunting process has to do with masculinity, but I don't quite know how.”
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    practical experience, FTW mccardey's Avatar
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    One word: cane toads

    The cane toad in Australia is regarded as an exemplary case of a "feral species"—others being rabbits, foxes, cats, and Giant Mimosa. Australia's relative isolation prior to European colonisation and the industrial revolution—both of which dramatically increased traffic and importation of novel species—allowed development of a complex, interdepending system of ecology, but one which provided no natural predators for many of the species subsequently introduced. The recent, sudden inundation of foreign species has led to severe breakdowns in Australian ecology, after overwhelming proliferation of a number of introduced species for which the continent has no efficient natural predator or parasite, and which displace native species—in some cases these species are physically destructive to habitat as well. Cane toads have been very successful as an invasive species, having become established in more than 15 countries [3] within the past 150 years. The Australian Government placed cane toads in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 as a "key threatening process" [4]

    [edit]Introduction and spread


    ETA: yeah, okay - two words. And thank you wikipedia.

    I don't see it ending well....
    Last edited by mccardey; 02-23-2013 at 07:38 PM. Reason: gone wiki-ing

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    Hold Fast. BradyH1861's Avatar
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    Our government at work. They can't deliver the mail in a timely fashion but they can come up with this.

    I'm kind of curious if it will work. I'll stay tuned.
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    #SayHerName SWest's Avatar
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    Dogs will die. Lots of dogs.

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    Hmmm... I think I disagree. Captcha's Avatar
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    If they don't get ALL the snakes this time around, they might have to make periodic re-deployments of the mouse paratroopers.

    I see it becoming a sort of festival, with Tshirts and concerts and fireworks - but each firework would actually be a tiny cannon sending a poisoned mouse corpse deep into the jungle...

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    ! Kaiser-Kun's Avatar
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    *scanning for the obvious meme*

    *meme not found*

    *launching meme*


    I'VE HAD IT WITH THIS MOTHERFUCKING SNAKES ON THIS MOTHERFUCKING LAND
    Quote Originally Posted by blacbird
    You be a baaaaaad man.

  9. #9
    #SayHerName SWest's Avatar
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    To say nothing of the smell.

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    practical experience, FTW mccardey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWest View Post
    Dogs will die. Lots of dogs.
    Don't say that!!!

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    #SayHerName SWest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccardey View Post
    Don't say that!!!
    Dogs are just as susceptible to acetominophen toxicity as other non-human species. And they will eat dead...anything.


  12. #12
    Hmmm... I think I disagree. Captcha's Avatar
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    But the mice are going to be stuck in trees where the dogs can't get them? And we might be talking about deep jungle, where there aren't domestic dogs, at least.

    I hope. The festival idea goes out the window if it turns into a ceremony of mourning for the family pet.

  13. #13
    #SayHerName SWest's Avatar
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    Well, there's the mice drops.

    Then there are snakes potentially predating them. And, you know, not knowing they're meant to quarantine themselves in the jungle until they die and decompose...

  14. #14
    ! Kaiser-Kun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captcha View Post
    I see it becoming a sort of festival, with Tshirts and concerts and fireworks - but each firework would actually be a tiny cannon sending a poisoned mouse corpse deep into the jungle...
    *snicker*

    Quote Originally Posted by SWest View Post
    Dogs will die. Lots of dogs.
    Unless the snakes already ate them. Then think about it as revenge.
    Quote Originally Posted by blacbird
    You be a baaaaaad man.

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    All Living is Local Don's Avatar
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    Yeah, this is gonna turn out just peachy.
    I wrote a blog.
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    the other takes account both of the effects which are seen, and also of those which it is necessary to foresee. ~Frederic Bastiat
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    The Old Curmudgeon F.L.N's Avatar
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    I wounder if Guam has any endangered birds?
    Before going into battle, Vikings would ingest Amanita muscaria. In addition to being moderately poisonous, Amanita muscaria eliminated fear causing them to be feared warriors earning Vikings the nick name berserkers.


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    ! Kaiser-Kun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F.L.N View Post
    I wounder if Guam has any endangered birds?
    Not anymore, it hasn't.

    The reason it never happened before was for fear that crows might eat the mice instead, but now all the crows have conveniently been eaten by brown tree snakes so it's all systems go...

    ... So scientists have come up with a solution, the only logical one really: fill a bunch of dead mice with painkillers, give each corpse a tiny parachute, and throw them all out of helicopters into the jungle.
    Quote Originally Posted by blacbird
    You be a baaaaaad man.

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    Listening to the Voices In My Head Satori1977's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWest View Post
    Dogs will die. Lots of dogs.
    Cats could too. They are even more sensitive to acetaminophen toxicity.

    Actually, they are probably more likely to eat the mice. Not that the snakes won't eat them, but they prefer live meals. A lot of snakes won't eat dead prey. I see this turning out very badly.
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  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW mccardey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satori1977 View Post
    Cats could too.
    Frankly, I don't care so much about the cat thing. But Malaya (as was) did something very similar to this after the war and it didn't end well....

  20. #20
    All Living is Local Don's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccardey View Post
    Frankly, I don't care so much about the cat thing. But Malaya (as was) did something very similar to this after the war and it didn't end well....
    Quote Originally Posted by George Santayana
    Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.
    .
    I wrote a blog.
    Between a good and a bad economist this constitutes the whole difference - the one takes account of the visible effect;
    the other takes account both of the effects which are seen, and also of those which it is necessary to foresee. ~Frederic Bastiat
    Economics puts parameters on people’s utopias. ~Peter Boettke
    The 'social contract' is to the politician what 'original sin' is to the priest. ~Don
    The vision of the helpful and protective state is the most pervasive and counter-productive ideology in the world today. ~Don

    I tend to blame the Feds for Don, actually.
    If they'd get it right, we wouldn't need Don pointing out that they'd gotten it wrong.
    ~ Medievalist

  21. #21
    Represent.
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    Sometimes when all you have left is bad options, you have to pick one. Probably trying to eradicate the snakes is better than doing nothing.
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  22. #22
    You can't sit with us! missesdash's Avatar
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    Are we just assuming a dessert in guam is filled with dogs?

    ETA: forgot to say, this is really cool, and also hilarious and also interesting. Thanks for posting it.

    And this from NPR

    Scientists don't think the mice bombs will be a threat to other animals, so long as they get caught in the jungle canopy. There aren't many birds left on the island — because of the snakes.
    Last edited by missesdash; 02-24-2013 at 06:45 AM. Reason: not quite sure what I meant to say o_O

  23. #23
    _ SomethingOrOther's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccardey View Post
    Don't say that!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by SWest View Post
    Dogs are just as susceptible to acetominophen toxicity as other non-human species. And they will eat dead...anything.



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    Legal Authority/Public Intellectual robeiae's Avatar
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    If the mice all land on one side of the island, it's possible Guam may tip over.
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    Hmmm... I think I disagree. Captcha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robeiae View Post
    If the mice all land on one side of the island, it's possible Guam may tip over.
    Never stops blowing my mind.

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