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State makes second rodenticide drop


    The state spread rodenticide pellets over Lehua Island today in the second of three planned applications to rid the isle of rats that prey on endangered seabirds.

The state is slated to administer the second of three rodenticide bait drops today to eradicate rats on Lehua Island.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources was to begin operations at 6 a.m. today. A helicopter will spread pellets containing diphacinone on the 284-acre island from a hanging bucket.

Boats are advised to steer clear from the channel between Lehua Island and Niihau during the bait application, as the helicopter will be regularly flying across the channel.

The state proceeded with the first round of bait drops on Aug. 23 to create a predator-free sanctuary for endangered and threatened seabirds. The third and final bait application is expected to take place in the next 10 days.

Some Kauai residents had raised concerns on whether the rodenticide poses a threat to marine life and the environment. The Department of Land and Natural Resources said diphacinone would have no significant impacts.

Island Conservation, an organization involved in the project, said 99.995 percent of the bait is composed of non-toxic, human food-grade material and the remaining fraction — five parts per million — is diphacinone.

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