Gallery: A View of Rat Island

Rat Island View

Rat Island

(Image credit: Island Conservation)

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. 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]

Aerial View

Rat Island

(Image credit: Island Conservation)

Rat island from the air. The island is only about 10 square miles (16 square kilometers) large.

Black Oystercatcher

Rat Island

(Image credit: Alan D. Wilson, naturespicsonline)

Black oystercatchers, like this one photographed in British Columbia, thrived on Rat Island before the rats showed up.

Eggs in Danger

Rat Island eggs

(Image credit: Island Conservation)

Black oystercatcher eggs on Rat Island. Rats steal and eat eggs from seabird nests, devastating the bird population.

Leftovers

Rat Island eggs

(Image credit: Island Conservation)

Egg fragments left behind on Rat Island after a rodent meal.

Sea Urchin Fragments

Sea urchin, Rat Island

(Image credit: Island Conservation)

Rats also eat other native species, including sea urchins.

Rat Island Shoreline

Rat Island

(Image credit: Island Conservation)

The rugged shoreline of Rat Island.

Rat Island Inland

Rat Island

(Image credit: Island Conservation)

A view from the ground on Rat Island.

Helicopter Drop

Rat Island

(Image credit: Island Conservation)

A 2010 analysis by the Ornithological Council concluded that less bait could have been used. Some 300 gulls and 46 bald eagles were collateral victims of the eradication effort.

Bait Drop

Rat Island

(Image credit: Island Conservation)

A rat eradication effort by conservationist groups and U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials involved seeding the whole island with 46 metric tonnes of rat poison.

I Smell a Rat

Rat Island

(Image credit: Island Conservation)

The rats have been here: A wax block left out by conservationists bears the tell-tale marks of rate teeth.