Science for a Blue Planet

Featuring cutting-edge work, discoveries, and challenges of our scientists, our partners, and the larger conservation science community.

Farallon Islands Restoration–Addressing misinformation and misleading statements

Addressing misinformation and misleading statements

Point Blue is aware that critics of this project have been spreading misinformation and misleading statements. We’ll continue to update this page with our perspective based on 50 years of living on and studying the islands and our original science. 

  • The total amount of rodenticide that will be used in the bait application is less than two ounces. This 1.16 oz of rodenticide is dispersed into 1.45 tons (apx 3,500 lbs) of a cereal-like grain bait to get the mice to ingest the rodenticide.
  • The Obama administration never “abandoned” this project. The draft EIS was submitted in 2013 during the Obama administration. It took six years for the USFWS to address all of the public comments and incorporate new science into the Final EIS document that was published in the spring of 2019. This long, thorough, public process shows just how cautious and transparent the USFWS has been throughout the project.
  • There are successful “gull hazing” techniques that have been studied on the Farallones and will be employed to minimize the number of gulls present on the islands and lessen the chances of exposure to rodenticide during the implementation phase of the project. See report brief here for more information from a Point Blue-authored report.
  • The islands themselves, where the proposed project would be implemented, are part of the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, which is managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The waters that surround the islands are protected as the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Some opponents are indicating that the action will happen “in the Sanctuary” which is not accurate.
  • Contraceptive bait is not a solution for restoring the Farallon Islands:
    • Restoring the Farallon Islands requires eradication of invasive mice, not population control. Contraceptive bait will not meet the Purpose and Need of the project as outlined in the Fish and Wildlife EIS.
    • There is no contraceptive product that has been approved by the FDA even for control of house mouse populations.
    • There is limited field data on the potential unintended consequences of contraceptive bait.