Drones drop toxicants to combat invasive rats

On two islands in Ecuador’s Galapagos archipelago, a conservation group is using drones to drop toxicants meant to eliminate invasive rats that are causing problems for native animals and plants. The Island Conservation project began on North Seymore island, where rats were introduced last year after the island had been rat-free since 2007. The rodents cause great damage to the flora and fauna of the island, consuming native plants and animals and reproducing quickly. Two six-rotor drones, which are cheaper than helicopters and safer than traveling through rugged terrain, distributed the toxicants.

Read more in Nature.

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Header Image: A conservationist group used drones to drop rat poison onto North Seymore island. ©Alfred Grupstra