China Uses 'the Pill' to Stop Gerbil Overpopulation

Officials hide contraceptive meds in gerbil feed
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2009 4:55 PM CDT
China Uses 'the Pill' to Stop Gerbil Overpopulation
A gerbil is shown in this undated file photo.   (©orangeacid)

Chinese officials have resorted to contraceptive pills to control the exploding gerbil population threatening a fragile desert ecosystem, the BBC reports. The government is placing feed pellets mixed with the medication by the gerbils’ burrows, which damage the roots of what plants survive there. Authorities have tried measures to boost gerbil predators—eagles and owls—but to no effect on the rodent population. (More owls stories.)

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