Could Dachshunds help island overrun by rats?

When the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge’s plan to eradicate the rodent population on Rat Island, an uninhabited 6,861-acre island in the Aleutians, was made public, it received irate e-mails from across the globe. Writers especially did not like the idea of using rat poison and many suggested alternative methods.

One person, a member of a dachshund club, noted that terriers are effective rat hunters and suggested that the refuge import dachshunds and other terriers, along with their owners, to hunt down the rodents on the island.

Parkan said that a problem with most of the suggested alternatives to poisoning is logistical. Transporting just a few scientists to an island in such a remote and stormy region is difficult, let alone a group of dachshunds and their owners.

The bigger problem has to do with the rat’s most distinctive trait – its remarkable capacity to adapt and repopulate when it is given a chance.

“You’d never get them all,” said Benson. “The deal with rats is that you have to get every single one, or the population will explode in just a few years. Predators, hunting, birth control, none of these work.”

“We’ve got to get all the rats dead in one operation,” Benson said.

One thought on “Could Dachshunds help island overrun by rats?

  1. June Vandenboom

    Yes I agree but I have a rat terrier and they are the best at killing rats. One rat terrier killed 1200 rats in one night. At the turn of the century (1900 that is) they were the number one dog in US and farmers used them to keep barns free of rats. (most cats will not tackle a rat just mice) So I am sure all terriers are good, but rat terriers got that name for a reason and I have seen them in action and they are death on rodents.

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