The graphic to terrify every Australian: How two mice can breed into 100,000 in one year


The shocking mathematics behind the lifecycle of mice is one of the main reasons the mouse plague inundating Australia’s eastern states is so terrifying.

In only a few months, two mice can spawn a colony of hundreds of thousands – which in perfect conditions could even blow out to millions in just over a year.

The common mouse can live for up to two or three years – but female mice start reproducing at just six weeks of age.

Three weeks later they can give birth to ten youngsters, while the mother can potentially get pregnant again the very next day

The shocking mathematics behind the lifecycle of mice is one of the main reasons the mouse plague inundating Australia’s eastern states is so terrifying.

 If half of every litter is female – who will be mature enough to reproduce just six weeks later – those two original mice will have sparked of colony of almost 2000 mice within five months.

And then, in an ideal mouse world, the exponential growth really takes off.

A few weeks later, there will be tens of thousands – and then potentially hundreds of thousands before the numbers get truly mind-blowing.

Unchecked, they could hit 1.5 million within a year – and mathematicians predict a rampant colony can then effectively double in size every three weeks from then on.

In the space of weeks, just two mice can spawn a colony of hundreds of thousands - and possibly even blow out to MILLIONS within a year

In the space of weeks, just two mice can spawn a colony of hundreds of thousands - and possibly even blow out to MILLIONS within a year

In the space of weeks, just two mice can spawn a colony of hundreds of thousands – and possibly even blow out to MILLIONS within a year

The only thing stopping the plague would be a lack of food and predators – but the recent perfect Australian farming weather has meant there’s no shortage of food.

And predators have so far been unable to keep pace with the mouse population boom, but coming cold wet winter weather could at least slow down the onslaught. 

NSW Government is now preparing to use a previously banned chemical, dubbed ‘napalm for mice’, in a bid to wipe out the mouse menace.

Under increasing pressure over the plague that has tormented regional communities for eight months, the state government has secured 5,000 litres of the super deadly rodent poison bromadiolone.

In just three months, two mice could spark a colony of almost 400 - and then the exponential growth really takes off.

In just three months, two mice could spark a colony of almost 400 - and then the exponential growth really takes off.

In just three months, two mice could spark a colony of almost 400 – and then the exponential growth really takes off.

Currently banned for agricultural use in Australia, the state has offered to provide it for free if the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority approves it.

When announcing the measure, part of a $50million government package to deal with the outbreak, Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said the poison would be ‘the equivalent of napalming mice’ across the affected regions.

Research conducted at the university found high levels of the poison in owls and snakes across Perth, where bromadiolone is approved for use in residential settings.

‘That sort of raised alarm bells,’ Dr Davis said. ‘This is potentially spreading through the whole food chain when we use these products.’

Research conducted at the university found high levels of the poison in owls and snakes across Perth, where bromadiolone is approved for use in residential settings

Research conducted at the university found high levels of the poison in owls and snakes across Perth, where bromadiolone is approved for use in residential settings

Research conducted at the university found high levels of the poison in owls and snakes across Perth, where bromadiolone is approved for use in residential settings

If the poison is used, he says it could set up even more favourable conditions for the next mouse plague.

‘You could be seeing agriculture landscapes without owls, kites, snakes and goannas for a long time to come.

‘We could lose all our natural pest control.’

NSW Farmers is calling for primary producers to get a 50 per cent rebate on zinc phosphide, an alternative poison, instead.

Dr Davis agrees it is the ‘better of the two evils’.

NSW Farmers is calling for primary producers to get a 50 per cent rebate on zinc phosphide instead of the more controversial but effective bromadiolone (Stock image)

NSW Farmers is calling for primary producers to get a 50 per cent rebate on zinc phosphide instead of the more controversial but effective bromadiolone (Stock image)

NSW Farmers is calling for primary producers to get a 50 per cent rebate on zinc phosphide instead of the more controversial but effective bromadiolone (Stock image)

‘There would be no other country in the western world that would approve this use of bromadiolone.’

If approved by the APVMA, it will be the first time bromadiolone is permitted for this use in Australia since 2016.

Farmers fear the out-of-control mouse plague could last for up to two years if urgent drastic action is not taken.

Xavier Martin, the vice president of NSW Farmers, said growers are now abandoning paddocks to the mouse hoard, fearing that crops sown there over the winter will be devoured before they can be harvested.

‘Without a concerted baiting effort in the next few weeks, this could easily turn into a two-year plague event,’ Mr Martin warned.



Source link

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

What do you think?

Bird flu: China confirms world’s first case of human infected with the H10N3 strain

Euro 2020: Rio Ferdinand believes Harry Maguire should NOT have been named in England’s 26-man squad