Feds declare victory against Calif. island rats

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Anacapa Island

Anacapa Island (Photo: National Park Service)

 

ANACAPA ISLAND, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say they’ve won the war against rats on a Southern California island preserve.

The Los Angeles Times reports the National Park Service has proclaimed Anacapa Island thriving, a decade after a controversial rat-extermination effort.

Officials say the numbers of some rare birds are soaring. And deer mice, the island’s only native mammal, are bouncing back.

Nonnative rats had lived on the island for more than a century, devouring native species. Beginning in 2001, authorities began dropping poison pellets to eradicate them.

The $3 million effort was condemned by some environmentalists and sparked a lawsuit that was later dismissed.

Anacapa is part of Channel Islands National Park and is about a dozen miles off the mainland.

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