Despite complaints, state's rat eradication plan for Lehua Islan - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Despite complaints, state's rat eradication plan for Lehua Island to continue

(Image: Dept. of Land and Natural Resources) (Image: Dept. of Land and Natural Resources)
LEHUA ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources will be conducting its third and final round of baiting Lehua Island with rat poison on Tuesday. 

The DLNR said crews evaluated weather conditions around 6 a.m. and decided to start another operation of dropping poison on the island.

During the operation, a helicopter will be flying between Lehua Island and Niihau, dropping bait pellets. DLNR officials say this is necessary to eradicate invasive rodents on the seabird sanctuary.

Concerns, however, have been raised that the poison is killing fish and other sea life. However, officials say there is no negative impact to endangered seabirds or aquatic life.

Since the first drop, inspectors on the island say they have found a “significant number” of dead rats and a decrease in bird deaths.

Lehua Island is one of the largest and most diverse seabird colonies in Hawaii, with 17 seabird species and 25 native plants.

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