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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday withdrew its request that the California Coastal Commission sanction its controversial mouse eradication proposal on the Farallon Islands.
Following nearly two hours of testimony from the federal agency and conservationists, several commissioners seemed poised to vote against the project, which would involve scattering 1.5 tons of rat poison pellets over the islands, which lie just 27 miles from the San Francisco coast.
Way - Commission - Chair - Dayna - Bochco
"We haven't been convinced this is the best and only way to go," said Commission Chair Dayna Bochco.
Fish and wildlife biologists say they must drop a powerful rodenticide on the islands in order to kill tens of thousands of invasive house mice they say are wreaking havoc on a fragile ecosystem.
Government - Permission - Coastal - Commission - Order
The federal government does not require the express permission of the Coastal Commission in order to go ahead with its plan. However, the body's approval would help bolster public support and potentially stave off litigation.
After pointed questioning and criticism from some commissioners, however, the wildlife service announced that it was withdrawing its request for approval so that it could better formulate a response to the commission's concerns.
Islands - World - Breeding - Colonies - Seabirds
The islands boast one of the world's largest breeding colonies for seabirds, including the rare ashy storm-petrel.
The explosive growth in mice, which...
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