I first heard the term "island eradication" back in 2011, when a colleague sent me an email that contained a project scoping notice from U.S. Fish & Wildlife (USFWS), San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex. This public notice announced a non-native mouse eradication project for the Farallon Islands, which are located 27 miles off the coast of San Francisco. The solemn tone of his words -- "Have you seen this?" -- quickly caught my attention.
As I read the document I couldn't believe what was being contemplated. USFWS wants to use helicopters to drop 1.3 metric tons of brodifacoum (in the form of loose rat poison pellets) over the Farallon Islands, an area that has been designated as a National Wildlife Refuge. Nonnative mice are the issue. The ashy storm-petrel, a seabird that is considered a species of special concern, is being indirectly impacted by the presence of mice.