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New Zealand declares war on stoats, rats

© Peter Trimming (CC BY-SA 2.0)

New Zealand declares war on stoats, rats

A plague of stoats and rats are threatening New Zealand’s wildlife. To protect the island’s native animals, the government will drop 1080, a controversial poison that should rid them of the pests, The New Zealand Herald reports. By the end of the year, stoat numbers are estimated to reach 25,000, while rats could increase to 30 million. Researchers suspect that when their seed food source runs out, the critters will turn on endangered birds such as the kiwi, kaka, and kea.

*Correction, 15 July, 11:11 a.m.: The story previously mispelled kaka. This has been corrected.

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