WAMU 88.5 : News

U.S. Senate Mulls Rodent Eradication in MD, VA, DE

Play associated audio

The nutria is a 20-lb., 2-foot long swamp rat with long bright orange front teeth. It's originally from South America and was introduced into Maryland in 1943. It's known for its fur and has since been blamed for completely wiping out swathes of wetland by digging out the roots of the plants that hold the soil in place and converting marsh into mudflat.

Maryland has been trying to wipe out the rodent for the past ten years using GPS tracking and good old fashioned traps.

"It's one of those rare success stories that we find in invasive species where by concentrating a lot of effort and learning a lot about the biology of the species we've been able to knock it back to a small fraction of its initial population," says Jonathan McKnight, with Maryland's Department of Natural Resources.

McKnight thinks the rodents could be eradicated in Maryland within 5 to 7 years. The legislation would authorize funding over five years for eradication efforts in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Louisiana, Oregon, North Carolina, and Washington.

The bill was reintroduced by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and co-sponsored by Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Kay Hagan (D-NC), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)

NPR

The Glimmering Sheen Of A Wide World Seen From Inside A Bubble

The teen heroine of Nicola Yoon's debut novel, Everything, Everything, has a disorder that bars her from leaving her house. Still, her world is vast, filled with writings, drawings — and new love.
NPR

Correction: Italians And Celiac Disease

A correction to our story about gluten-free options in Italy, the land of pizza and pasta. Italian children are not routinely tested for celiac disease, as we incorrectly reported.
WAMU 88.5

America's Tolerance For Gun Violence

There are more gun-related deaths in America than in any other industrialized nation. We discuss what makes the U.S. different and why some hold out hope that change is possible.

NPR

China Arrests Nearly 200 Over 'Online Rumors'

The rumors ranged from a man leaping to his death in Beijing over stock losses to highly inflated death tolls in the Tianjin industrial blasts.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.