“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adapable to change.” — Charles Darwin.
What Do You Think?
As a hiker, I’ve seen many a snake, from 27 canyon rattlers in one day in the Grand Canyon to a small coral snake at Texas’ Santa Ana State National Wildlife Refuge that a stupid birder picked up — and of course was bitten.
I’ve always left snakes alone, appreciating their contributions to the ecosystem, especially that of keeping rodent populations in check.
The only exception was a poisonous copperhead that I discovered in my Gulf Coast backyard. That one got chopped into a dozen pieces by the nearby hoe I grabbed because a vision of one of my young children being bitten flashed through my head.
So why would I now rejoice after reading this morning that brown tree snakes, which are not poisonous, are going to be killed by the thousands on Guam?
It’s because since World War II, when these snakes hitched a ride on U.S.planes and ships to Guam, these nasty critters have killed off almost all of the tropical island’s birds. As a passionate birdwatcher, I was infected with a personal vendetta against these slithery critters after visiting Guam a few years back. The silence of the trees, from which a symphony of bird song did not ring,was deafening with the significance of the horror.
Thankfully, my daughter, who was living on Guam at the time, treated me to a few days’ stay on the nearby island of Rota. Never had bird song sounded so sweet when it greeted us as we stepped off the plane. It made, however, the lack of birdsong on Guam seem even more tragic.
You can read all about the plans to poison the brown tree snakes with a simple human headache remedy at: http://tinyurl.com/bj3dbhh
I suspect, however, that Guam’s bird population will never recover. But hopefully other tropical islands will be spared the loss of their birds.
What do you think?
Bean’s Pat: A discussion for the writers among us http://tinyurl.com/af8mulh And once again I ask: What do you think?