Previously rat-free island has a new resident

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Conservation officials are on high alert after a rodent has continued to evade capture on a small previously rat-free island off the coast of western Alaska.

Alaska’s Energy Desk reports the Ecosystem Conservation Office for the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island has changed up tactics and brought in a team of rat eradication experts after the rodent has been on the loose since early September.

Lauren Divine of the conservation office says they have added traps, changed bait and installed game cameras to bolster prevention measures.

Divine says rats threaten the island’s sensitive habitat. She says the rodents “would devastate the seabirds and would change wildlife life.”

Divine says the office will remain on high alert through November, with staff checking traps and bait stations twice a month.

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