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Rats Took Over This Pacific Island. Now Drones Are Leading the Fightback

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A drone targets rats.

Rats have colonized remote islands to the detriment of pretty much everything else in the ecosystem, but bait-slinging drones could spell their demise.

Credit: Wired

The conservation group Island Conservation plans to use drones to try to eliminate rats on Tetiaroa atoll and two other islands in French Polynesia, beginning in August.

Hexacopter (six-rotor) drones from New Zealand's Envico Technologies will be used to drop 30 tons of rat poison on the islands over a two-week period.

A trial drone initiative undertaken in 2019 on Seymour Norte in the Galapagos resulted in that island being declared 100% rat-free two years later.

Island Conservation's David Will said, "We've been watching drone technology for a number of years with the idea that it can dramatically reduce cost and also democratize island restoration by allowing local experts to be able to fly them using precision automating processes."

From Wired
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