THE VINE SEPTEMBER 21, 2010
The march of science proceeds apace:
If you're going to lace dead mice with poison, and drop them from helicopters into a rainforest in Guam in such a way that they become entangled high in the trees where they might murder the brown tree snakes, but you want to avoid (as much as possible) having the toxically tasty mouse corpses fall all the way to the ground, where they could instead get gobbled by coconut crabs, perhaps you should graft them on to something like a parachute.
Those were the findings of a recent study by Peter Savarie, Tom Mathies, and Kathleen Fagerstone of the National Wildlife Research Center. Guam has an invasive species problem—tree snakes came to the island in the 1940s and have nearly killed off a variety of native birds, lizards, fruit bats. (They've also chomped on small children and occasionally wreak havoc on power lines.) So the paratrooping mice bombs have practical applications, too.