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Drones Help Rid Galapagos Island of Rats


Battling rats by dropping poison from drones.

Drones dropped rat poison on the island of North Seymour in the Galapagos Islands in an effort to eradicate invasive black and brown rats.

Credit: Island Conservation

The Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPG), in cooperation with Island Conservation, flew drones over the island of North Seymour to drop rat poison as quickly and inexpensively as possible in an effort to eliminate invasive black and brown rats.

Each drone carries 20 kilograms of poison at a time and flies for about 15 minutes; two drones were able to cover 52% of North Seymour before being grounded by mechanical difficulties.

It took a group of more than 30 park rangers equipped with masks, goggles, and protective clothing to cover the rest of the island.

It will likely take another application of rat poison to completely wipe out the invasive species, and GNPG will monitor the island for at least two years before it can be declared rat-free.

From IEEE Spectrum
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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