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Rat kill in Galapagos Islands targets 180 million 1/4t
On Plaza Sur, 40 iguanas were also captured temporarily for their own protection.
Asked whether a large number of decomposing rats would create an environmental problem, Rueda said the poison was specially engineered with a strong anti-coagulant that will make the rats dry up and disintegrate in less than eight days without a stench.
It will help that the average temperature of the islands is 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius), he added.
The current $1.8 million phase of the project is financed by the national park and nonprofit conservation groups including Island Conservation.
The Galapagos were declared protected as a UNESCO Natural Heritage site in 1978. In 2007, UNESCO declared them at risk due to harm from invasive species, tourism and immigration.
Associated Press writer Frank Bajak in Lima, Peru, contributed to this report.
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