Dear Mr. McChesney:
As a supporter of WildCare, and someone who cares about wildlife in California, I am writing to express my deep concern over the proposed "South Farallon Islands Non-native Mouse Eradication Project."
The proposal and draft Environmental Impact Statement list two "action alternatives" for eradicating the non-native house mouse (Mus musculus) from the island habitat. One alternative relies solely on the aerial dumping of loose pellets of toxic Brodifacoum 25-Conservation or Diphacinone D50
Conservation rodenticide indiscriminately across the islands and the other alternative is to do nothing.
Surely there must be a reasonable alternative between these two extremes of action or no action. The introduction of Brodifacoum or Diphacinone into the delicate ecosystem of the Farallon Islands can only lead to significant environmental damage, death and destruction. It cannot be the only alternative.
The Project (quoting the scoping document) proposes to "help protect and restore the ecosystem of the South Farallon Islands," and claims that rodenticide dumping "will provide a high likelihood of success based on similar projects elsewhere while minimizing incidental impacts to other resources."
Unfortunately evidence from similar projects, including a 2008 "Rat Island Rat Eradication Project" powerfully demonstrates that aerial rodenticide dumping exacts an extremely high toll on "other resources," including non-target wildlife. There is also evidence that indiscriminate distribution of rodenticides will neither eliminate a rodent problem, nor prevent the problem from returning.
Arguments in favor of this proposal overwhelmingly focus on the necessity of protecting the many endangered and threatened species that live and breed on the Farallones. It is WildCare's position and mine that, if control of house mouse populations is necessary, then responsible, non-toxic and environmentally sustainable approaches must be used.
The aerial broadcasting of toxic rodenticide pellets over the entire landmass of the Farallon Islands does not fit these criteria, and should not even be considered in the eradication proposal. I strongly encourage you to implement other, more environmentally sensitive alternatives.
Please help maintain the integrity of the incredibly fragile ecosystem on the Farallon Islands, and reject the proposal to aerially spray the islands with Brodifacoum 25-Conservation or Diphacinone D50-Conservation!
Thank you for supporting environmental responsibility and supporting wildlife by rejecting this proposal.