Ecology

Authorities Try to Kill Hundreds of Millions of Galapagos Rats

Non-native species introduced in 17th century threaten animal eggs

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QUITO, Ecuador (AP)—The unique bird and reptile species that make the Galapagos Islands a treasure for scientists and tourists must be preserved, Ecuadorean authorities say—and that means the rats must die, hundreds of millions of them.

A helicopter is to begin dropping nearly 22 tons of specially designed poison bait on an island Thursday, launching the second phase of a campaign to clear out by 2020 non-native rodents from the archipelago that helped inspire Charles Darwin's theory of evolution

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