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

Costume Designer Colleen Atwood Took Unlikely Path To Hollywood Royalty

Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood knows tough times. A single mom at 17 who once worked at a French fry factory to make ends meet is Hollywood royalty today. A favorite of director Tim Burton, Atwood is now costume designer for his adaptation of the darkly comic, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children and the upcoming Harry Potter prequel, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
NPR

Carnegie Deli Says It Is Closing Down Its Landmark NYC Restaurant

As news of the closing rippled far beyond the deli's home turf in Manhattan Friday, hundreds of people responded with sadness and disbelief.
NPR

Trump And The Testosterone Takeover Of 2016

It's a historic election, with the first female major-party nominee. But for all that, Trump's masculinity has been on unusually prominent display.
NPR

The United Nations Is Launching A Space Mission

The U.N. is planning to send its first spacecraft into orbit, packed with scientific experiments from countries that can't afford their own space programs.

Leave a Comment

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