Super-sized Mice Killing Baby Seabirds

a beach

Jason M.

a beach

On the island of Gough in Britain, the Tristan Albatross is quickly becoming endangered by a species that most people don’t think as predators. Baby albatrosses are being killed by a species that is quite small but have become bigger due to its new diet. These predators are mice, who have been brought to the island of Gough by sailors during the nineteenth century, long ago. Gough has limited resources, so the mice had to adapt by becoming larger as kangaroo rats hop to get to safety. The albatross chicks are small and vulnerable and are born just once in two years for every pair of albatross mates. When the Tristan Albatross leaves for food, they come back to a dead baby chick due to the super-sized mice.

Mice killing the chicks is a big problem because only two thousand pairs of albatrosses exist out of the ten million birds on Gough Island. The population of these birds is very small compared to the rest of the population of birds. Mice that have started the extinction of these albatrosses are fifty percent larger than the average domestic mouse, which can be from three to four inches long, not including the tail length. These oversized mice are killing around two million birds every year, and at the rate that albatrosses have babies, they are going to go into extinction and will no longer exist in a short period of time. Dr. Caravaggi brings to attention that although the Tristan Albatross is in danger, multiple other birds are facing the same threat on the island Gough. To eliminate this small sized danger, a campaign has been organized so that all of the mice will be removed in 2020. The two organizations that formed the campaign are RSPB and Tristan da Cunha.

In 2020, these two organizations will have a large ship that contains poisonous pellets for the mice to eat. The mice will hopefully die, and the Tristan Albatrosses will be safe from extinction. Although this sounds simple, this procedure will be applied to about seven hundred other islands along with Gough. This method is said to be “tried-and-tested” by a specialist named Dr. Bond.

This task will be difficult at the rate that the birds are decreasing, but the mice need to be removed before the world’s population of birds are killed. Although this may make these mice go extinct, they are only one species, instead of all of the birds in danger because of these mice. The method that the collaborated organizations are using will be useful and will help many birds around the world that are in danger.