"Like a Tabby Cat Attacking a Hippopotamus"
Carnivorous mice threaten bird species:
Giant carnivorous mice on the British-ruled island of Gough in the south Atlantic are eating seabird chicks alive in mass feeding frenzies, threatening several species’ survival, a wildlife charity warned.
The house mice, while three times the size of those seen in mainland Britain, are still only one 250th the size of the chicks they attack, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said Monday.
The mice, which strike at night in large numbers, are devouring more than one million petrel, shearwater and albatross chicks on Gough Island every year, the charity warned.
What’s remarkable in the article is the numbers: 700,000 mice are killing a million birds per year among a population of ten million birds. It’s like a little ‘critter genocide’. I’m for letting nature take it’s course in the critter department, but do conservationists argue that we should intervene?
Then again, maybe the most remarkable thing is the size disparity between the bird chicks and the mice which are 1/250 as big as the albatross chicks which can go as much as 22 pounds. (!) In reading this, I’ve gained respect for the Ancient Mariner’s burden.