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This Island Looks Beautiful from Space, But on Land it’s A Different Story

Ann Moises

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Last June 11, 2015, an astronaut currently aboard the International Space Station took an incredible photograph of Adele—a stunning tropical island situated in the Indian Ocean.

From above, the 24.5 kilometer-long pristine white sandbank that surrounds the 2.9 kilometer-long island looks like a gigantic sea creature swimming in the aqua blue waters. Adele island appears like a peaceful piece of tropical paradise from NASA’s satellite image; however, its inhabitants are far from feeling tranquil.

Adele island looks stunning from outer space.

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Photo credit: NASA

But this island off the coast of Western Australia is plagued by approximately 8,000 mischievous Polynesian rats.

These Polynesian rats are called Pacific rats, Kiore, or Maori rats.

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Photo credit: Teara

These rodents eat the eggs of some of the 24,000 nesting birds that live on the small island.

Including the lesser frigate

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And brown boobies.

Flock of Brown Boobies, Adele Island

The Queensland government assume that these rodents may have arrived aboard the fishing vessels that came from Indonesia in 1891.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Company, the Department of Conservation and Land Management have tried to eradicate these rodents back in 2004. They’ve set at least 10,000 toxic baits, but the project was unsuccessful.

In 2011, the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Center released a flyer indicating that the problem still exists. As of today, these rats still infest several Australian islands. Fortunately, the mainland remains rodent-free.

H/T: The Weather Network, The Weather Channel, Earth Observatory

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