Tourists were forced to cancel their long-awaited vacations to some parts of Queensland, Australia. The country is dealing with a vast rodent problem.
A Significant Rat Invasion
On May 28, The Frankland and North Barnard Island groups in the Queensland section of the Great Barrier Reef are being forced to close because of black rat infestations. This group of islands welcomes a plethora of wildlife to its shores. The Great Sea Turtle and several species of migratory birds are some animal species that call this island home.
In addition, the Frankland and North Barnard Island groups are significant tourism spots. Many tourists hope to travel across the Great Barrier Reef through a cruise ship when they are in the Frankland Islands. Meanwhile, the North Barnard Islands will be unable to welcome kayakers and whale watchers.
Several Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers will work for the next three weeks to remove the black rats from the island groups. Government agency representatives noted that the rats threaten parts of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Areas. The reserved lands are dedicated as breeding grounds for various seabirds.
Rangers believe that the rats are damaging eggs and eating hatchlings. Also, authorities worry that the rats are carrying diseases, which could be spread to tourists who visit various island campgrounds. Initially, they believe that the rats got to the island groups through logs and as stowaways on ships.
"The control of black rats on these islands is a high priority and will play a significant role in restoring the valuable seabird nesting habitat in the area," said a Department of Environment and Science spokesperson to News.com.au.
In 2000, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers were successful in stopping rats from inhabiting the South Barnard Islands. The government agency used a control program where it eradicated the rat population. Since the rat problem was solved, a vast number of seabirds returned to the island.
The National Toxicology Program exposed male rats to cellphone radiation. During the research study, scientists noted that the rats grew heart tumors after being exposed to 2G and 3G frequencies almost 10 hours a day for two years. Scientists noted that the male rats who experienced high levels of radiation lived longer than rats who were not exposed.
A 14-year-old paraplegic girl named Samantha was brought to a French hospital while she slept in her family home. Samantha's father discovered her bite marks and scratches and originally thought a burglar attacked her. However, it was discovered that rats bit her. The medical staff found that Samantha accumulated 215 lesions throughout her body and tested negative for rabies.
Tech Times reached out to the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services for a comment on this story.