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Federal government considers dropping poison on California island to exterminate mice population

Posted: August 21, 2013 |   Comments

( The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering taking action to lower the mice population of California's Farallon Islands. The plan currently under consideration involves dropping massive amounts of rodenticide pellets onto the island via helicopter.

The islands, which sit 27 miles west of San Francisco and are known as "California's Galapagos," are an ideal location for seabirds and marine animals to breed and rest. However, they have also become an ideal breeding ground for a booming population of an invasive species of mice, which threatens the island's ecosystem.

The federal government has been increasingly pressured to address this infestation, and as such, they have come up with a plan to shower the island with rodenticide pellets. While this seems like an effective solution, many critics fear that this would do just as much, if not more, harm to the island and its surrounding waters.

"Part of the concern is that rodenticides will get into the water," Kelle Kacmarcik, wildlife solutions manager at animal advocacy group WildCare, told the Marin Independent Journal. In addition to the rare birds that live on the island, the surrounding waters are also home to elephant seals and great white sharks.

"I don't want to see the suffering of countless other species, especially when we don't know what the long-term impact will be," former WildCare environmentalist Maggie Sergio told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Though the proposal details plans for distributing the poison safely and cleaning it up, it can contaminate the rest of the environment; there is always a grave risk involved with spreading poison into the environment.

A public hearing for the proposal will take place August 29 at Fort Mason.

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