Good riddance to rats thanks to genetic modifications to save native species


In Ecuador, conservation scientists are turning to genetic modification to control populations of invasive species taking over the Galápagos Islands. They are having a rodent problem that is causing other native species to near extinction and are looking for ways to eradicate the rats and mice on the island. Their hope is to genetically modify the rodents to increase the likelihood of more male species thus decreasing their ability to reproduce and hopefully drive their population extinct on the islands.

Animal removal specialist for Island Conservation, Karl Campbell, told Scientific American, “Floreana has one of the highest endemicity rates in the Galápagos, the highest rate of extinctions due to the invasive species here and the highest rate—by far—of critically endangered species, which makes it one of the highest-priority targets not just in the Galápagos but in the world.”