U.S. Senate Mulls Rodent Eradication in MD, VA, DE | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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

Comedian George Carlin Is National Portrait Gallery's Newest Face

NPR's Audie Cornish talks to Kelly Carlin, the daughter of the late comedian George Carlin, about the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery's unveiling of her father's portrait Friday.
NPR

Calif. Governor Can't Make It Rain, But Can Make Relief Money Pour

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed his sweeping $1.1 billion emergency drought relief bill Friday. It funds water infrastructure improvements like flood control and aid for farmworkers.
NPR

Nigerian President Faces Tough Reelection Campaign

Nigerians head to the polls Saturday to vote for their new president. The incumbent Goodluck Jonathan faces former military leader, Muhammadu Buhari, who says he's tough on security and corruption.
NPR

App That Aims To Make Books 'Squeaky Clean' Draws Ire From Edited Writers

Clean Reader — an app designed to find, block and replace profanity in books — has drawn considerable criticism from authors. This week, makers of the app announced they would no longer sell e-books.

Leave a Comment

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