A view of rat island. A 1700s shipwreck in these waters released rats onto the previously pristine island in the Aleutian Island chain on what is now Alaska.…Read More »
The spilled rats ate the eggs and young of the island's defenseless nesting birds. Over time, the island's bird population took a dive and the slip of land became known as Rat Island. [Read more about Alaska's Rat Island] Less «
Now that the rats are gone from Rat Island, the Aleutian Pribilof Island Association is working to get a new name approved for the island. The name hasn't…Read More »
been announced, but will likely be an Aleut name in tribute to the early Alaskan people. Less «
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Credit: Marc Romano / USFWS
Breeding tufted puffins have been seen on Hawadax Island for the first time since long before the rats were exterminated in 2008.
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Credit: Rory Stansbury / Island Conservation
Numbers of black oystercatchers (seen here as chicks) have been on the rise since the rats were removed.
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Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science. She covers the world of human and animal behavior, as well as paleontology and other science topics. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has ducked under a glacier in Switzerland and poked hot lava with a stick in Hawaii. Stephanie hails from East Tennessee, the global center for salamander diversity. Follow Stephanie on Google+.