From a New Yorker article on removing Invasive Species from the (California) Channel Islands
Although eradication begins with a rousing vision of nature restored, it can be devilishly difficult to achieve. First, there is the problem of its image. Over the years, the opponents of the Channel Islands eradications made a number of legal challenges. They argued that the conservationists had their calculus wrong. “To me the idea of species is just an abstract concept,” Rob Puddicombe, a prominent animal-rights activist, told a reporter for the Washington Post, in 2003. “These animals are here and alive now. Their lives have value.” It was alleged that Puddicombe and a conspirator had boated to Anacapa and laid out kibble for the rats there. The food was rich in Vitamin K, which was meant to counteract the anticoagulant that the eradicators planned to distribute. Nevertheless, the rodenticide succeeded: the rats died from internal hemorrhaging, and seabirds have since rebounded.
The headline writers at the Washington Post once again demonstrate their genius.
“I can see the headline now: Man Wants to Save Rats. Like ha, ha, ha,” Puddicombe said as he spoke with a reporter on the beach. “Which I do. I want to save the rats and I want to save the Xantus’s murrelet and the Anacapa deer mouse, too. I want to save them all.”
Which is the problem.
Resource managers at the Channel Islands National Park do not want the black rats of Anacapa Island saved. They want Rattus rattus exterminated. With a vengeance. To the rodent. Because to kill the rat is to save rare seabirds, whose eggs the rats eat.