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Poisoned mice dropped over Guam to kill brown tree snakes

Dec. 4, 2013 at 1:20 PM

HAGATNA, Guam, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture said 2,000 mice spiked with acetaminophen were dropped over the territory of Guam to poison invasive brown tree snakes.

Tino Aguon, acting chief of the U.S. Agriculture Department's wildlife resources office for Guam, said the 2,000 dead mice were each spiked with 80 milligrams of Tylenol -- far less than the 500 milligrams found in a standard pill -- and parachuted from a helicopter in the area around Anderson Air Force Base to poison the brown tree snakes, NBC News reported Wednesday.

Aguon said poisoned mice have been dropped over Guam three times before as part of an $8 million program aimed at culling the snakes, which first arrived in Guam during the 1950s, and protecting the exotic native bird populations harmed by the invasive predators.

"Every time there is a technique that is tested and shows promise, we jump on that bandwagon and promote it and help out and facilitate its implementation," Aguon said.

Some of the mice were outfitted with small data-transmitting radios to help officials gauge the effectiveness of the scheme, officials said.

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