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Helicopter is sent in to wipe out millions of rats

The unique bird and reptile species that make the Galapagos Islands a treasure for scientists and tourists must be preserved, Ecuadorean authorities said – and that means the rats must die, hundreds of millions of them.

A helicopter is to begin dropping nearly 22 tonnes of specially designed poison bait on the islands, launching the second phase of a campaign to clear out by 2020 non-native rodents from the archipelago that helped inspire Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

The invasive Norway and black rats have critically endangered bird species on the 19-island cluster 600 miles from Ecuador's coast.

Irish Independent