Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/22/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Tiny U.S. territory of Guam plagued by poisonous reptiles for many years

The lush island paradise of Guam has been plagued for years by the venomous brown tree snake. The tiny U.S. territory has seen many of its birds species become extinct on account of the predatory reptile. Now, dead mice filled with painkillers are set to rain down on Guam's jungle canopy to thin out the snake population.

The brown tree snake can also climb power poles and wires, causing blackouts, or slither into homes and bite people -- including babies and young children. The venom is not lethal to humans. The snakes are rarely seen outside their jungle habitat.

The brown tree snake can also climb power poles and wires, causing blackouts, or slither into homes and bite people -- including babies and young children. The venom is not lethal to humans. The snakes are rarely seen outside their jungle habitat.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/22/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Guam, brown tree snakes, venom, species, air drop, pain killer


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The deadly brown tree snake first reached Guam's thick jungles by hitching rides from the South Pacific on U.S. military ships shortly after World War II. It's estimated that there may be two million of the reptiles on the island now. In addition to decimating the local wildlife, the snakes have bitten residents and have even knocked out electricity by slithering onto power lines.

Environmental officials over 3,000 miles away in Hawaii have long feared a similar invasion, which would likely be a "snakes on a plane" scenario, endangering many vulnerable species and billions of dollars.

"We are taking this to a new phase," Daniel Vice, assistant state director of U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services in Hawaii, Guam, and the Pacific Islands says. "There really is no other place in the world with a snake problem like Guam."

Brown tree snakes are usually a few feet long but can grow to be more than 10 feet in length. Most of Guam's native birds had no defense against the nocturnal, tree-based predators. Nearly all of the bird species on Guam were wiped out in 10 years time.

The snakes can also climb power poles and wires, causing blackouts, or slither into homes and bite people -- including babies and young children. The venom is not lethal to humans. The snakes are rarely seen outside their jungle habitat.

It's fitting that the remedy for these snakes is at heart a painkiller -- acetaminophen, the active ingredient in such tablets as Tylenol.

The strategy takes advantage of the snake's two big weaknesses. Unlike most snakes, brown tree snakes are happy to eat prey they didn't kill themselves, and they are highly vulnerable to acetaminophen, which is harmless to humans.

The lethal "mice drop" is targeted to hit snakes near Guam's sprawling Andersen Air Force Base, which is surrounded by heavy foliage and if compromised would offer the snakes a potential ticket off the island.

Using helicopters, the dead neonatal mice will be dropped by hand, one by one. U.S. government scientists perfected the mice-drop strategy for more than a decade with support from the Department of Defense and the Department of the Interior.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Asia Pacific

CHINESE BEAT COLUMBUS: Bronze artifacts suggest East Asia traded with New World 2,600 years ago Watch

Image of Archaeologists have discovered a bronze and leather buckle and a bronze whistle, dating to around 600 A.D.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a series of bronze artifacts found at the "Rising Whale" site in Cape Espenberg, Alaska, trade was taking place between East Asia and the New World hundreds of years before Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Pakistani Christian boy dies after being set on fire by Muslims Watch

Image of Fourteen-year-old Nauman Masih said he did not know the identities of his attackers. His attending physician, Dr. Shahid Hussain confirmed Nauman's death this week.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fourteen-year-old Nauman Masih, a Pakistani Christian boy has died five days after being set on fire by two Muslim men. Nauman was set on fire in an apparent sectarian attack in Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab, last week. Fifty percent of his body was ... continue reading


One million people forced to harvest Uzbek cotton last year Watch

Image of An Uzbek woman picks cotton at a field near the Uzbek capital of Tashkent.

By Maria Caspani, Thomson Reuters Foundation

The Uzbek government forced into labor more than one million people in the 2014 cotton harvest, while officials siphoned off profits at unprecedented levels, a rights group said on Monday. NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More public service workers were ... continue reading


Mass whale stranding in Japan spurs fear of impending earthquake Watch

Image of Experts say that while it was possible the whales frightened by disturbances in the Earth's electromagnetic field caused by movement in the tectonic plates, there were was no firm evidence of this.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Could it be an ominous forebear of an impending natural catastrophe? The mass stranding of 160 melon-headed whales on two beaches in Japan has many fearful that it portends an earthquake and tsunami. A species of dolphin, the whales were found washed up along a ... continue reading


Anti-vaccination parents in Australia denied up to $15,000 in benefits Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In Australia, starting January 2016, changes in childcare and welfare will take effect and will take toll on parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated. The No Ja, No Play campaign by The Sunday Telegraph has won the support to protect children through ... continue reading


American aid worker deported from North Korea for alleged spying Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Accused of anti-Pyongyang plot-breeding, Sandra Suh was deported from North Korea and arrived in Beijing, China this week, according to the United States Embassy spokesman Nolan Barkhouse. The American aid worker had been frequenting North Korea "under the pretense of ... continue reading


WORLDWIDE WARNING!: Missing Malaysian aircraft MH370 may be stored in Muslim country and used to carry out nuclear attacks on U.S. Watch

Image of After months of intense searching, no evidence of the planes remainings has been located in the water, despite the high technology used to search. (AFP, Getty Images)

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Locals from a small island community in the Maldives claim they saw an unusual large jet flying very low over their island of Kudahuvadhoo on March 8, 2014, the day Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared with 239 people on board. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Amazing ancient underground city uncovered in Turkey Watch

Image of Millions of years ago, volcanic activity covered the region under several layers of ash. Erosion then created a landscape of rock formations and spires known as

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hiding underground from malevolent forces has always been with humankind, it appears. Builders in Turkey accidentally found one of the largest and most complex underground cities in the otherworldly region of Cappadocia. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


Hidden pyramid in Indonesia could be four times older than ones in Egypt Watch

Image of The terraces are bordered by retaining walls of stone that can be accessed by 400 steps rising around 311 feet.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A hidden pyramid in an Indonesian hillside could rewrite ancient history. Egypt's oldest pyramid was built 5,000 years ago. If archaeologists are correct, the one found in Indonesia could be as old as 20,000 years old, four times older than the ones in Egypt. ... continue reading


Exposing secrets: American journalist posed as teacher in North Korea gains insight into an intesnse lifestyle Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Students from the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology had no reaction when Suki Kim, an American writer and journalist posing as their Christian missionary teacher, flashed images of the United Nations, Taj Mahal and the Great Pyramids of Giza, as she told ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 6:8-15
8 Stephen was filled with grace and power and began ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30
23 Though princes sit plotting against me, your ... Read More

Gospel, John 6:22-29
22 Next day, the crowd that had stayed on the other ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 20th, 2015 Image

St. Marian
April 20: When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter