Australian mouse plague

You may have seen the news about (or you may be living through) a rodent plague happening now. My children understand my wife’s murophobia when these events occur – she experienced one of these while growing up in rural NSW.

Farmers to get access to free poison to tackle mouse plague

Rodent plague = need for rodent poisoning = danger for rodent predators. This is a real worry in a land that has been devastated so much by colonisation, where many ecosystems are on the brink of failure, and where we have such a high extinction rate. I love Australian birds, and owls, kookaburras, and others are at great risk from rodent poison.

A kookaburra with a mouse in its beak.

My tiniest note on this from my story, The final hypotheses of Professor G. , published in Silver Blade:

John, a regular visitor, reckoned the rats came from Mrs Boyd’s garage. “Out west, when there’s a rodent plague, there’s a matching explosion of predators. Snakes. Owls,” he went on at a million miles an hour. “Imagine that George.  Owls swooping down all over the place, every time we went outside at night, snatching up rats and possums. How cool would that be?”  The professor watched as the action played out in John’s mind, signalled in the shrugs and darts of his shoulders, by the flickering of his tongue marking out the trails of birds in the air. “We’ve taken the major players out of the food chain, they need to be replaced. Komodo dragons to stand in for the mega-goannas. Eat up the feral cats and foxes while they’re at it.”  John stared through the wall, picturing massive reptiles striding down the street, cleaning up the garbage.

“Or Mrs Boyd could put down some poison?”

John was shocked. “And kill the owls?”

“The final hypotheses of Professor G”


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